• Romper by Bally; Earrings, Necklace and Ring by Pandora
  • Dress by DVF; Earrings, Bracelet and Ring by Pandora
  • Dress by Alice + Olivia; Shoes by Olcay Gulsen
  • Dress by Alice + Olivia; Shoes by Blumarine; Belt by DVF; Bracelet by Pandora
  • Dress by Moschino; Bracelet by Pandora

Aly Raisman The captain of Team USA’s Gold Medal Gymnastics team isn’t ready to take a break.

     When Aly Raisman and her USA Gymnastics teammates qualified for the Olympic team this past summer, they knew the world had changed. “After team finals, we were walking across a bridge to get to the media,” Raisman recalls. “I remember saying to my teammates, ‘Once we cross this bridge, our lives are going to change forever.’” But as to how much they would change, even Raisman couldn’t predict.
     Unlike most athletes who appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated as a validation of an amazing achievement—a Super Bowl winning catch, winning your first Masters—Aly Raisman appeared on the cover with her USA Women’s Gymnastic teammates before the Olympics. It made very clear what the nation’s expectations were for a group of five teenage girls. Win.
     “Being on the cover before the Games was exciting,” Raisman, the captain of the team said during her AQ photo shoot. “We were confident going into the Games, It wasn’t that we were cocky. We knew we were going to win because we believe in each other. Talent gets you far, but we were so close as teammates. We were like a family. We enjoyed being with one another. We still do.”
     After a dominant team performance, the team had come to accomplish what they set out to do for their country, but their business in London wasn’t finished. “We were so excited when we won,” Raisman said, “but it made us determined to win even more.  Everyone wanted to win their individual medal as well.”
     Raisman, the captain of the team, won an additional bronze on the balance beam and took home an individual gold in the floor exercise, performing her final routine to the sounds of Hava Nagila. The performance made her an instant hero in Jewish communities around the world.
     “Since I’ve been back home, I’ve been making appearances at Jewish community centers around the country. The support I’ve been receiving has been amazing. I never expected that by dancing to Hava Nagila, I would be considered a role model. To have girls come up to me and say it has inspired them, it’s so special to me. They’ve treated me like royalty. I was thankful to have the opportunity to dance to Hava Nagila at the Olympics and win gold, but the support is beyond what I ever could have imagined.”
     The support has continues as Raisman and her teammates performed exhibitions as part of the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions. The arena tour drew huge audiences of fans around the country. “It was amazing to be able to go out and perform and be ourselves and not have to worry about judging,” Raisman said. “I think people really got a chance to see our personalities on the tour.”
     Raisman is also enjoying her passion for fashion, starting her own leotard line with GK Elite. She also plans to visit the women’s shows during Fashion Week this spring in New York City. But fashion will continue to remain a small hobby for the time being. Raisman has already said that she has her sights set on returning for one more Olympics in 2016. “My first international competition was in Brazil, so it would be great to start there and end there at the 2016 Games.”
     And her advice for other potential Olympians aspiring to perform at those Olympic Games? “Enjoy the entire experience.” Raisman said. “Everyone is so caught up in winning Gold, but just taking part in the Olympics will be one of the amazing experiences of your life. Appreciate all the hard work you put in just to get there.”