Liu Xuan (刘璇) began gymnastic training when she was studying in primary school in Changsha, Hunan Province in 1984. She received regular training in the Hunan provincial gymnastic team at the age of eight, and became a member of the national team at 13. She was one of the leading gymnasts in the 1990s when the Chinese women's gymnastic team was previously at its highest point.
Liu Xuan made her debut at the 1994 Asian Games in Hiroshima, Japan, and joined the other members of her team in taking the team gold medal and a silver medal in the uneven bars.
On the young Chinese women's gymnastic team, Liu was a late bloomer. She appeared at two Olympic Games, two Asian Games and three World Championships between 1994 and 2000. It was not until 1998 that she won her first world championship title at the World Cup. Two years later, she won her first Olympic gold medal on the balance beam at the Sydney Games.
Liu is gentle and quiet, but at the same time, she is also a vivacious girl. In her training, she was good at using her brain. Her movements were harmonious, and she had good power and flexibility. She had originally prepared a very difficult exercise called "single-arm circle with Zinkel somersault," but it was not recognized by the International Gymnastics Federation on the grounds that the "exercise is not suitable for the physical growth of women gymnasts." Liu's rich degree of experience was also a great help to her younger teammates. In competition, she was always the first to appear on the podium, because she was always calm in executing exercises and helping her teammates to keep calm during their performances.
Having completed her studies at Peking University, Liu has tried many new things, including posing for advertisements, anchoring a newscast and being a mistress of ceremonies.