Aly Raisman is a truly special gymnast. Her tumbling prowess and poise on the balance beam have earned her countless accolades in her career. She was the captain of the gold medal-winning 2012 U.S. Olympic team and a member of the Fierce Five. At the London Games, Aly won the gold on floor exercise and the bronze on balance beam, and finished fourth all-around after a tiebreaker for the bronze. She has World medals of each color along with two U.S. national apparatus titles.
Aly has also succeeded outside the sport of gymnastics—she finished fourth on Dancing with the Stars this spring. When she is not making appearances around the world, she trains at Brestyan’s American Gymnastics under coaches Mihai and Silvia Brestyan.
Aly recently took a few minutes out of her busy schedule to chat with Full Twist contributor Anna Rose Johnson about her plans for 2014 and her life as she gets back into training.
FT: How is your training going? What are you working on?
AR: Training is great. It feels so good to be back in the gymnastics world. Going to sleep exhausted and knowing I worked hard is so satisfying and such a great feeling! I am working mostly on beam and floor right now. I am taking things very slow to make sure I get my full strength before trying anything difficult!
FT: What are your plans/goals for 2014?
AR: For 2014 I hope to be either at the January or February training camp, just depending on if I’m ready or not! I hope to compete at the US classics or Nationals! Right now it’s only November so I’m taking it one day at a time!
FT: What are some of the specific moments that stand out in your mind from this year’s Worlds?
AR: I am so proud of the girls and guys, they dominated! It was so exciting to watch them represent USA so well! I was really proud of McKayla for redeeming herself on vault, I know that what she went through during the Olympics was difficult and it just shows how mentally tough she is that she came back and was able to win another World Championship gold medal! Kyla was fantastic as well, love her beautiful lines and her elegance award was well deserved, I teared up a bit when she got it! Then of course, Simone, she is incredible. I was in awe watching her, she is absolutely so powerful, everything she does she makes it look easy! Her floor routine is super impressive, I was really impressed with her confidence and maturity!
FT: Have you considered training a second vault?
AR: I’ve always considered a second vault, it’s just very difficult to get. As an elite gymnast you always feel like you’re going against the clock, there is never enough time!! Once I get all my skills back I can begin thinking about a second vault, but for now I have to focus on getting the two and a half back to the way it was in London!
FT: Is there any chance we might see you at the next training camp?
AR: Definitely not the next one which is in a few weeks. I want to feel confident and ready when I show up to camp!
FT: What’s a typical day like for you now?
AR: I am balancing school and training, so it is exhausting but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I am a part time student at Babson College so it’s a lot of work but I’ve met some great new friends, it’s always nice to have a balance of training and school! I’ve been training about 3-4 hours per day, which is less hours than before the Olympics but I’m just trying to pace myself!
FT: What do you think of the new Code of Points?
AR: The connections on beam are really difficult; there really is no room for error! I also think the standing on one foot before tumbling is a bit interesting and makes it harder, however I don’t like to make excuses so it is what it is! And of course I don’t like how they downgraded the two and a half vault, but there is nothing we can do about it!
FT: If you could perform any gymnastics skill in the world, what would it be?
AR: A quad on floor! Except I’ve tried it before and it’s REALLY hard.
Many thanks to Aly for taking the time to answer these questions and for her agents assistance.
Image via Getty Images.