Aly Raisman: From London to Rio
Aly Raisman left the 2012 London Olympics as the most decorated U.S. gymnast, winning three medals—gold in the team competition and on the floor exercise, and bronze on balance beam—and placing fourth in the all-around. The then-18-year-old made the most of her post-London opportunities before returning to gymnastics training and beginning her journey to Rio. Here’s a look back at what Raisman did in the last quadrennial.
September 2012: Performing with the Kellogg's Tour of Champions
After a slew of media appearances—Raisman popped up everywhere from the MTV Video Music Awards and The Late Show with David Letterman to a Red Sox Game and the New York Stock Exchange—Raisman and the Fierce Five embarked on a 40-city tour of the U.S. with the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions. Along with fellow London Olympians Jonathan Horton, Jake Dalton and John Orozco, Beijing Olympians Nastia Liukin and Alicia Sacramone and others, Raisman performed her gold-medal winning routines in front of fans. There were also gymnastics performances set to music with fun costumes, and a show-stopping piece where the Fierce Five sat in oversized Olympic rings as they rised up above the arena floor.
November 2012: Making her first appearance on Dancing with the Stars
Before joining the show as a competitor, Raisman and her Olympic teammates made a guest appearance on the “Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars” finale. Dancing in the freestyle routine of fellow Olympian Shawn Johnson and partner Derek Hough, the Fierce Five added a few extra flips to the competition.
November 2012: Building her professional career
Raisman turned professional before the Olympics, forgoing her NCAA eligibility and a spot on the University of Florida gymnastics team. It paid off, as she quickly picked up a load of sponsors in the months following London, including Poland Spring Water and Pandora Jewelry. She also started designing a line of leotards for GK Elite.
January 2013: Walking the red carpet at the Golden Globes
Raisman showed her glamorous side at the Golden Globes in January 2013. Attending with teammate Gabby Douglas as well as fellow Olympians Missy Franklin, Carmelita Jeter and Evan Lysacek, Raisman wowed in a low-cut black gown. She confessed later that she wasn’t exactly a natural on the red carpet; while she may have no problem staying on the four-inch balance beam, she took a tumble down some stairs with everyone watching.
March 2013: Competing on Dancing with the Stars
From March to May 2013, Raisman competed on Dancing with the Stars. From the tango to afro jazz, Raisman showed off her versatility and sassy personality with partner Mark Ballas. Raisman made it to the final four round but was then eliminated. She said she wasn’t disappointed, because she enjoyed the experience and was proud of how much she improved. Unlike the Olympics, this wasn’t about the podium—it was about the journey.
June 2013: Returning to to gymnastics training
After nearly a year out of the gym, Raisman returned to Brestyan's Gym in Burlington, Massachusetts to train again under her longtime coach, Mihai Brestyan. He welcomed her back—with the stipulation that she be committed 100% to getting back into Olympic shape. He made her undergo months of conditioning before allowing her to do any actual gymnastics skills.
"The first six months that I came back to gymnastics, Mihai would barely coach me,. It's almost like he would give the younger ones more attention, so that I would want to work harder."