Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman has a shot to do it all again.
The 2012 Olympic Games brought excitement, success, and a multitude of memories for then 18-year-old Raisman. Now, Raisman has been given an opportunity to return to the Olympic Games, this time as the oldest member and one of the most experienced competitors.
Will she help lead Team USA to gold once again? If she and her teammates Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Madison Kocian, and Laurie Hernandez have anything to say about it, then yes, Team USA will absolutely defend their Olympic gymnastics gold medal.
Get to know Raisman with the five facts below.
1. Raisman’s teammates call her “grandma” — but not because of her age.
Teammate Simone Biles has jokingly nicknamed Aly “grandma” because of her habits outside of the gym. For example, Raisman likes to go to bed early, she said.
“Everyone just says I’m the grandma because I like to sleep a lot,” Raisman told Us Weekly. “I nap during the day, and then all of my friends are going out on Saturday night and I’m so happy with a cup of tea in bed at like 7:30. I just love it. I think I’m always so tired from training. I’m sure when I finish gymnastics I’ll be able to go out and have fun, but now I can’t even stay up past 10:30.”
— Us Weekly (@usweekly) July 12, 2016
During the same interview, 19-year-old Simone Biles told Us Weekly that Raisman doesn’t like too much noise.
“Aly says we’re so loud, but she’s just a little grandma. She goes to bed at, like, 8:30, and she’s like, ‘Simone, quiet down!’ And I’m like, ‘Aly, it’s 8:30! Wake up!'”
2. Raisman spends more than 30 hours each week in the gym.
For Raisman, gymnastics is a full-time job. The Massachusetts native spends more than 30 hours in the gym doing physical training every week, so when she has an opportunity to kick back and relax, Raisman takes full advantage, she told People. Raisman is in the gym six days per week and always has Sunday off.
“I like to do completely nothing. I like to lay on the couch and be lazy for a day. But when it is nice out I like to go for walks,” Raisman told People. “I live in a private area and I have two dogs so I like to relax and go for walks with them and spend time with my family and friends.”
— Coach Megan (@coach_megan_) July 15, 2016
3. Raisman won individual gold at the 2012 Olympics in London.
Raisman is a two-time Olympic gold medalist. At the 2012 London Olympic Games, she won the individual gold medal in the floor exercise event, and she also won gold in the team competition with her American teammates. Additionally, Aly won the bronze medal in the balance beam event at the London Olympics.
Raisman also was a member of the 2011 and 2015 gold-medal winning world championship teams.
.@Aly_Raisman is heading back to the Olympics!
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) July 11, 2016
4. Aly got a start in gymnastics when she was 2-years-old.
Raisman and her mother began taking a gymnastics class together when she was just a toddler, she said, because she had a lot of energy.
“I got involved when I was two years old when my mom put me in mommy and me classes, I always had a lot of energy so it was the perfect fit! I have always loved it ever since!” Aly said on her USA Gymnastics bio.
She remained involved in the sport throughout the years because the variety and challenge always kept her interested, she said on the same bio page.
“I love performing and that gymnastics never gets boring, there is always something that needs to be fixed or improved!”
5. Raisman competed on Dancing With the Stars.
After her success at the 2012 Olympics, Raisman was tapped to compete on Dancing With the Stars. She and her partner, Mark Ballas, made it to the finals but ultimately finished fourth, while Kellie Pickler and her partner Derek Hough won the mirror ball trophy.
“Dancing With the Stars was such an amazing experience and I loved it,” Raisman wrote after her experience on the show in 2013. “Our hearts broke when they announced that we were fourth, but at the same time, just making it to the finals was so special. I’m so happy the fans voted us through for that long. It was a tough competition.…I felt like I improved so much, and I showed so much personality. I gave so much of myself, so I definitely couldn’t have done anything differently.”
Will you tune into the gymnastics competition during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro? Are you looking forward to watching Aly Raisman compete?
[Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images Sport]