Aly Raisman, the Needham native and captain of the gold medal-winning U.S. women’s gymnastics team at the 2012 London Olympics, got naked for ESPN The Magazine’s annual Body Issue, billed as a “celebration of the athletic form.’’
ESPN’s Morty Ain spoke with the 21-year-old Raisman about what it was like to pose for the magazine and how much work she puts in to keep her body in top shape.
“You work your whole life for a minute-and-a-half beam routine,’’ Raisman said. “I work out six days, 32 hours a week for the dream of competing at the Olympics again. I’m always eating healthy, always going to bed early. Everything I put into my body is for the purpose of gymnastics.’’
Raisman reveals that she’s always been a perfectionist and admitted that she can often be too hard on herself.
“At the last Olympics I got two golds and a bronze, but I think more about the fact that I didn’t medal in the All-Around than the fact that I did really well,’’ Raisman tells ESPN. “That kind of pisses me off — I always think that it’s never good enough. I almost fell and put my hand down; it was stupid, I never make that mistake on the beam. I’ll have a second chance at it, but I think about it all the time. I wish I didn’t have to learn that valuable lesson at the Olympics.’’
Raisman also recently joined the board of Boston 2024, the nonprofit Olympic bid committee that hopes to bring the Olympics to Boston.
She hopes to be back with the U.S. team at the 2016 games in Rio, but understands that she’s getting a bit old for competition with the world’s best athletes.
“If I make the team, I’ll be the oldest U.S. gymnast,’’ Raisman said. “My body is a little bit more achy than it was before, but at the same time I feel like I’m smarter now and able to understand the recovery process. I always joke that I’m 21 going on 50.’’
There are 18 other athletes featured in the seventh annual issue including Revolution player Jermaine Jones, former Bruins player Tyler Seguin, and former Boston College football player Anthony Castonzo.
Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper, Olympians Amanda Bingson and Chantae McMillan, Cleveland Cavaliers’ Kevin Love, 12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin and New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr. all appear on six different covers.
You may also remember when Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski also gave us The Full Gronk when he appeared in the Body Issue in 2012.
The Body Issue hits newstands on July 10.
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