Aly Raisman wears 15 hair elastics to keep her bun secure during gymnastic routines

And nine other facts you probably didn't know about the Olympian from Needham.

Aly Raisman competes in the floor exercise during the U.S. women's gymnastics championships on June 26. Jeff Roberson / AP

Aly Raisman is your average 22-year-old from New England—who also just happens to be a three-time Olympic medalist and reigning gymnastics floor champion.

The Needham native secured her spot on this year’s five-woman team in San Jose, California—partly in thanks to a stunning floor exercise—and will be heading to Rio to compete for Team USA this August.

Raisman and her teammate Gabby Douglas are the first female gymnasts to make a second Olympics appearance since 2000. With both of them making the cut, this year’s team will also be the oldest group ever to represent the U.S. at the Olympics.


But when Raisman isn’t working on her roundoff back handsprings, she’s shopping at the Chestnut Hill mall, binging Friends on Netflix, or cheering on the Bruins with her dad.

Here are 10 facts you probably didn’t know about the Olympic gold medalist.

1. If she weren’t a gymnast, she thinks she would work in fashion.

The gymnast told NBC Olympics that she has always been interested in fashion and dreams about going to Paris Fashion Week.

“I like classic things with a little twist,” she said.

Raisman has some experience in fashion, too. She helps to design her own leotards with GKE Elite.

2. She loves to sleep.

Raisman has said in numerous interviews that she takes a nap every day between her gym sessions. And on her Sunday “rest day,” she sometimes will just stay in bed to rewatch some of her favorite shows, like Friends, on Netflix, according to Cosmopolitan.

Raisman told reporters at the P&G championships that, after some workouts, she calls her father to come pick her up at the gym because she’s too tired to drive herself home.

3. She’s a huge Bruins fan.

Raisman is a Boston sports super fan, and she has said in numerous interviews her favorite team to watch is the Bruins.


During her last Olympics, Raisman was very excited when then-Bruin Tyler Seguin tweeted her good luck.

She told NECN in 2014 that she wouldn’t mind going on a date with Seguin, saying her parents would “like the fact they could go to Bruins games.”

4. She’s still really close with her parents.

Raisman’s parents are her biggest cheerleaders. At the 2012 London Olympics, they became famous for their reactions and nervous squirming while watching their daughter perform.

Raisman said her parents were instrumental in supporting her run at the 2016 Olympic team, even if it meant giving her permission to quit gymnastics entirely, according to NBC Olympics.

“Even now, if I have a bad day my mom says, ‘If you want to stop now, it’s OK, it’s 100 percent up to you,’” Raisman said. “Obviously that’s not an option. … But they said whatever you want to do, we’re always supporting you.”

5. She is really great at giving presents.

Longtime coach Mihai Brestyan, of Brestyan’s American Gymnastics Club in Burlington, celebrated his birthday on Sunday, night two of the Olympic trials.

Raisman told reporters that when she asked her coach what he wanted for his birthday, he said the best present would be for her to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic team.


6. If she could have any super power, she would fly.

But it’s not for the reason you may think. In a rapid fire question-and-answer session with Aeropostale, Raisman said she wishes she could fly because she “likes to be alone,” and she’d be “up there by [herself].”

7. She’s very superstitious.

Raisman wants to make sure all the odds are in her favor when she performs, even if that means being extra careful about her wardrobe choices.

“If I fall at a competition, I won’t wear the leotard again,” Raisman told NBC Olympics.

The gymnast also believes her leotards can be good luck, which is why she re-wore an outfit she hoped to be lucky on night two of the gymnastics trials, according to a tweet from her account.

8. Her favorite store is Bloomingdale’s.

With her love of fashion, it isn’t shocking that Raisman told Boston magazine that one of her favorite things to do is go shopping at the store at Chestnut Hill mall.

9. She says she’s super clumsy.

She can flip on a four-inch-wide beam, so how clumsy can she be, right?

According to Raisman, very.

Raisman told Glamour that she keeps her gold medals in a safe at a bank, but before putting them away for safe keeping, she actually dropped one of them and dented it.

10. She wears around 15 hair elastics to keep her bun in place during a routine.

During the 2012 Olympics, the U.S. women’s gymnastics team got a lot of heat for their messy buns. But Raisman told ESPN in her 2015 Body Issue interview that she wears up to 15 hair elastics to keep her hair in place.


“So sometimes I’ll get headaches because my hair is pulled so tight and so back,” she said.


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