Aly Raisman ESPN Body Issue: Gymnastics Star Too Old At 21? Talks Eating Disorders & Training 7 Hours Daily [Photos]

Aly Raisman bared it all for ESPN’s body issue and dared to share what really worries the Olympic gymnast. From the rumors about eating disorders to the hours devoted to working out in the gym, Raisman discussed the frustration involved in seeking perfection, reported People.

At 21, Aly displayed her five-foot, two-inch, 115-pound frame in ESPN’s body issue and shared her views on the daily challenges of being a world-class athlete.

“Every day is a challenge,” Raisman declared.

And although winning the gold is an incredible high, that’s a momentary glory followed by frustration admitted Aly.

“Even though at the 2012 Olympics we were so happy to win the gold medal, every day is not like that. I think people don’t understand that; people don’t see that side of the sport – the frustration, how much it takes a toll on your body, and mentally as well.”

Aly Raisman competes.
Aly Raisman of the United States competes on the beam during the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Beam final on Day 11 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena.

Raisman took a year-long hiatus from gymnastics. However, Aly made a name for herself as a contestant on Dancing with the Stars. Raisman twirled her way into Season 16’s finals.

And she made it clear that her competitive spirit hasn’t faded, staying open to the potential of competing in Rio.

But Raisman is aware that age matters in gymnstics, she told ESPN for its body issue.

“I’m 21 and I’ll be 22 in the Olympics year [2016 Rio Games]. If I make the team, I’ll be the oldest U.S. gymnast. My body is a little bit more achy than it was before, but at the same time I feel like I’m smarter now and able to understand the recovery process. I always joke that I’m 21 going on 50.”

Aly Raisman competes on the beam during the Senior Women's competition.
Aly Raisman competes on the beam during the Senior Women's competition.

But Aly also expressed concern about the need to train seven hours every day, and pondered whether it’s a risk to her health.

“I’m not sure training seven hours a day is completely healthy. That’s why gymnastics is a young girl’s sport.But I should be fine. It’s not like I’m going to be doing this until I’m 30 or 40. I’ll let you know in 10 years if I have arthritis and everything.”

As she reflects on what competing for the Olympics means, Aly emphasizes that her life revolves around gymnastics.

Aly Raisman of the United States competes on the beam during the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Beam final.
Aly Raisman of the United States competes on the beam during the Artistic Gymnastics Women's Beam final.

“We train our whole lives for that one moment. You work your whole life for a minute-and-a-half beam routine. I work out six days, 32 hours a week for the dream of competing at the Olympics again. I’m always eating healthy, always going to bed early. Everything I put into my body is for the purpose of gymnastics.”

But as for the reports that almost every gymnast suffers from an eating disorder at one point, Raisman is quick to deny the rumors.

“I’ve never had an eating disorder, and I’m proud of that. I think gymnastics in the past had a bad reputation for that, but it’s not an issue anymore. I’ve never seen an issue among the girls on the national team,” she declared.

As the Inquisitr reported, another 21-year-old gymnast recently found herself at the center of a perfect storm of controversy. Farah Ann Abdul Hadi won six medals, but religious leaders argued that her leotard displayed body parts that should be completely covered.

[Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images; Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images; Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]