What You Never Knew About Aly Raisman

Aly Raisman is a retired U.S. gymnast who has reached the highest highs of the sport. As captain of the 2012 Olympic team, Raisman competed alongside Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross, and Jordyn Wieber (via Business Insider) and came home with two gold medals and one bronze — and one of those golds earned her the honor of becoming the first U.S. women's gymnast to win the top prize on the floor exercise (per NPR). 

Raisman returned to the Olympics in 2016, this time alongside Douglas, Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez, and Madison Kocian (per ABC News). This time around, Raisman returned home with one gold medal and two silver. While her gymnastics feats are more than impressive, in the years that followed, Raisman began to open up about the conditions under which she performed, telling The New Yorker, "When I was competing, I was so tired. I was so stressed." Raisman added that she didn't have the ability or "tools to cope with my own anxiety or things that I was dealing with personally."

These days, many of us know that, among other things, Raisman is speaking out and accusing former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse. Raisman is one of the gymnasts who has led the march toward justice in the ongoing criminal case against Nassar and who is "still fighting for the most basic answers and accountability," per the BBC.

She retired following the 2016 Olympic Games

Although Aly Raisman is in her 20s, she's already officially retired from the sport and profession that dominated most of her formative and young adult years. As USA Today pointed out, even though her last competition was the 2016 Olympic Games, Raisman did not confirm the rumors of her retirement until January 2020, when she decided to share everything with her fans on Instagram. "I am very lucky to have been able to do something I love for so many years & I'm excited for what's next!" she wrote in the post's caption.

While she's not performing gymnastics, Raisman is currently working in the field. She's a program designer for Camp Woodward, a Pennsylvania-based gymnastics program that she went to herself as a child (per USA Today). 

Raisman is also still staying active. She might not be logging in hours a day on the mat, but she told People that she is definitely exploring exercise that works for her. One thing she really likes is Pilates, which she has actually been practicing for years after being introduced to the form of exercise by her mother. 

Aly Raisman has her own line of leotards and socks

Even though she's retired, Aly Raisman has continued to be active in the world of gymnastics — and she's even designed her own line of leotards and socks that athletes around the world can use and enjoy. Raisman has worked alongside body-positive brand Aerie for years, and she announced her leotard partnership with the company in March 2021. She shared that the collection, called OFFLINE, is not limited to leotards. It also includes scrunchies, bodysuits, skirts, dresses, and, of course, dog bandanas (via Instagram). The collection also benefits the organization Darkness to Light, which is focused on preventing sexual abuse of children by educating adults and caregivers. 

In a statement, Raisman praised Aerie for committing to Darkness to Light. "It means so much to me that Aerie is supportive of this important initiative and also willing to help financially because it will provide more free training for adults who want to become educated on prevention," she said (per Aerie).

These leotards weren't the first Raisman had collaborated on. Fans and gymnasts can also buy Raisman-designed leotards from the company GKD Gymnastics.

Aly Raisman has dabbled in modeling

Before launching her 2021 collection of leotards with Aerie, Raisman had already collaborated with the brand in a big way: as a model. In 2018, she participated in the company's Role Models campaign alongside singer-songwriter Rachel Platten, actress Yara Shahidi, and body-positive activist Iskra Lawrence. Together, the women were the first to become the faces of the campaign. 

Jennifer Foyle, the Global Brand President of Aerie, explained in a press release that each woman was chosen because she embodies the spirit of Aerie. "Yara, Aly, Rachel, and Iskra truly embody AerieREAL and what it means to be strong, confident, and happy in your own skin," she shared, as reported by Business Wire.

Raisman doubled down on this idea with her own statement, in which she pointed out that she, Platten, Shahidi, and Lawrence had all worked through tough issues and come out as stronger people on the other side.

In 2017, Aly Raisman accused Larry Nassar of abuse

In 2017, Aly Raisman was one woman who publicly accused former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar of sexual abuse, as reported by the IndyStar. Fellow gymnasts, including Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Jessica Howard, Lindsey Lemke, and McKayla Maroney, also alleged Nassar had abused them. In total, The Guardian noted that Nassar was accused of molesting at least 150 gymnasts. The publication added that what's even more disturbing is the fact that the gymnasts and their families began lodging complaints against Nassar as far back as 1998, but nothing was done to pursue the truth until the 2017 case was filed.

In recent years, Raisman has opened up about the toll that her experience, and her coming forward to accuse Nassar, has taken on her body. As she explained to The New Yorker, the price is hefty. When asked if she thought her body was recovering after years of difficult training, she said, "I'm definitely feeling a lot better, but I also feel, added on to that, the stress of dealing with all the abuse personally, and then coming forward. I don't think I ever had a moment where I gave myself time to rest."

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Aly Raisman feels 'so lucky' to care for rescue dog Mylo

Aly Raisman has opened her heart to rescue dogs. In October 2020, she shared on Twitter that she adopted a dog she named Mylo from a Rhode Island organization. "I'm so excited to be his mom," she wrote in the tweet. "I've already cried a few times because I feel so lucky."

Sadly in 2021, Mylo disappeared over the Fourth of July weekend. Raisman immediately began sharing information and photos of Mylo on her Instagram account, imploring people local to the area to keep their eyes peeled for her favorite friend, as reported by People. The search for Mylo was complicated by the fact that Raisman was advised by the team at Missing Dogs Mass to make sure anyone searching for Mylo did not pursue the dog or take to "yelling his name or running around looking for him," as that could have disastrous consequences.

Happily, Mylo was found about a week later, and Raisman was thrilled to have her beloved dog back. "I feel so relieved today. I feel so happy, it doesn't feel real," she told CBS Boston.

She's close friends with this MCU star

Fans of Aly Raisman were surprised to learn about one friendship she has in particular. After Marvel actor Chris Evans shared an Instagram story featuring Raisman and her dog Mylo, many people were wondering how the two knew one another — and for how long. Interest in the pairing was so intense that Raisman addressed it while speaking at a wellness event she hosted alongside Club Pilates and Sanvello, as Us Weekly reported. He simply explained, "We've been friends for a couple of years," adding, "He's great. He's super nice."

The pair even met up for a playdate for their dogs. Mylo was joined by Evans' dog Dodger in his backyard, as Raisman shared on Twitter. While the "Captain America" star had to caution his dog to "be gentle" during their time together, it seems like everything went really well. No word yet if the two have arranged any further hang outs for their favorite canines!

What Aly Raisman thought about Simone Biles pulling out of the 2020 Olympic Games

Many people were stunned with Olympic giant Simone Biles pulled out of the team competition at the 2020 Tokyo Games — but not Aly Raisman. After speaking at length to CNN about the many dangers that come with competing when your mental focus isn't completely locked in, Raisman noted that she supported her former teammate completely. "I can't imagine how hard that was for her to pull out today, but I'm proud of her," she said, before adding that of anyone involved with the situation, Biles was the ultimate authority and that she "knows her body better than anyone else and she knows her mind better than anyone else." 

Raisman is no stranger to mental health struggles herself. She told "Today" that when she was in the thick of her own experience, she wasn't capable of even recognizing it: "I didn't even understand that I was feeling any type of anxiety or depression."