Matt Lombardi Opens Up About His Engagement to Olympic Gymnast Nastia Liukin Ending
Former hockey player Matt Lombardi is opening up about the end of his engagement with Olympic gymnast Nastia Liukin.
The athlete-turned-entrepreneur opened up about his breakup with Liukin on the Adulting podcast this week, saying that he has no regrets about their relationship.
“You get engaged to someone and obviously you have plans and then we broke up — we didn’t get engaged with the idea we’d break up,” Lombardi told podcast hosts Zack Peter and Abigail Fraher.
Lombardi said after the breakup, he looked at life ahead as a “blank canvas,” going on to found his CBD company Beam.
“I often look at things as very black-and-white,” he said.
“I don’t have any regrets about my relationship with Nastia,” Lombardi continued. “And we’re amicable and we get along and we’re I think just doing our own things and things like that now.”
“There’s so many learnings and things that I came out of that [relationship] with,” he said, adding, “I don’t know that we’d have Beam without that relationship.”
“I don’t want to say everything happens for a reason, but I think everything happens if you perceive it in a certain way, again, meaning, I couldn’t make that about this very traumatic, awful thing, and you know, making it negative,” he said. “It’s not so much heartbreak drove me into doing something, I think it was more just, I looked at it more as, I have a blank canvas. I can literally do anything that I want now, both with my time and all these different things.”
“My career has been so crazy, we both felt it was best to take a breather and focus on spending time with each other,” Liukin told POPLE at the time. “We’re together, we’re engaged and we are postponing.”
However, in November 2018, a rep for the gymnast told PEOPLE that the pair had “mutually and amicably ended their relationship” in the summer of that same year.
A month later after PEOPLE confirmed their split, Liukin said that breaking up with Lombardi was “scary,” but that she has a great support system.
“When it all first happened it was scary because when I met Matt, I thought that he was gonna be the person I was gonna spend the rest of my life with,” she said. “But I’ve been so lucky to have some amazing people in my life that I can lean on for support and love.”
“I felt like a failure not having this relationship work,” the gold medalist said. “That’s because as an athlete if things don’t go your way, if you don’t come out on top, you feel like you’ve somewhat failed. This has always been a big learning lesson for me.”
A year after her split with Lombardi, Liukin hit the red carpet at the ESPYS in 2019 with Sam Martin of the Detroit Lions.
In July of last year, Liukin opened up to PEOPLE about her new relationship with the NFL player.
“I love it because I feel like I know nothing about football and I told him that right from the beginning,” she said. “I had no idea. And he was trying to explain a play to me once and I guess I was just staring off into space and he was like, ‘Wow you really don’t know anything.’” I was like, ‘No.’”
However, the Olympian does understand what it’s like to be a professional athlete like her beau.
“I do kind of know the athlete mentality and what it’s like and having a tough practice,” she said. “Coming home after a bad day, I can talk with him and joke with him about it. Hopefully it just adds extra support, knowing what it is like to go through something like that and at that level. The amount of training and everything you have to put in to be the best that you can be.”
The pair can also understand the busy schedule of an athlete.
“It’s really awesome because he totally understands my travel schedule and he’s very, very supportive and always super curious about what I have going on and super supportive. So I really love that. It’s been fun,” she added.