07/27/2011 at 08:00 AM EDT
Nastia Liukin has been a gymnast since she was 3.
With that chapter of her life set to close after the 2012 London Olympics, the 21-year-old is exploring her options – and it seems the Big Apple is in her future.
"This morning I went out to NYU, which I'm so excited about. I'm thinking about going there," the Russian-born star of the U.S. team told PEOPLE at last week's "Team USA: Britain Bound" event in New York.
Liukin attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas for a semester, but is now in a New York state of mind. She met with NYU administrators last Tuesday morning to "get a feel for" the school.
Liukin has already agreed to co-choreograph a 40-city tour after the Olympics. So, NYU would have to wait until January 2013 or the fall semester, she says.
New York would also be a perfect place for Liukin to indulge her other passion – fashion. Having designed all her leotards since she was 12, Liukin admits she is "obviously really interested in the fashion world."
The former BCBG model adds that she would love "to even intern at a fashion designer."
For now, the 2008 Olympic individual all-around champion is focused on the 2012 Games. But while in England, she does plan to sneak over to Buckingham Palace for a peek at Kate Middleton's wedding dress, which is on display there.
"Oh, that's on my list," she says. "That's my No. 1."