Alexandra "Aly" Raisman (born May 25, 1994 in Needham, Massachusetts) is an American artistic gymnast. She was captain of the 2012 gold-medal winning American team, also known as the Fierce Five, as well as the 2012 Olympic Floor Exercise Champion. She is a two-time Olympian, having been captain of the 2016 team in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Raisman trains at Brestyan's Gymnastics, the same gym as 2008 Olympian and former teammate Alicia Sacramone, and has similar skills and physique. In 2009, Raisman also performed her floor exercise to music that Sacramone had used earlier in her career. Raisman won a gold medal in team gymnastics along with a bronze medal in floor at the 2011 World Championships. Raisman excels on beam and floor exercise in particular, performing difficult and precise routines consistently. Her weakness is uneven bars, where she struggles technically, and sometimes with form and flexibility.
Raisman is Jewish, and has three younger siblings. She began gymnastics as a toddler when her mother, Lynn a former high school gymnast, put her in a "Mommy & Me" class at 18 months old. She trained at Excel Gymnastics until she was 10, then began training at Brestyan's American Gymnastics under Mihai & Sylvia Brestyan. Raisman was a student at Needham High School where she attended until the end of her Junior year. She completed her senior year via online classes so she could focus on training for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
In the junior division of the 2009 American Classic in San Diego, Calif, Raisman won the vault title, tied for fourth on balance beam, placed sixth on floor exercise and 10th all-around.
In the 2009 CoverGirl Classic's junior division, Raisman placed third on floor (14.400), eighth on bars (13.900) and 12th all-around (54.050).
At the 2009 U.S. Junior National Gymnastics Championships, Raisman placed third all-around (112.60) behind winner Kyla Ross (114) and silver medalist Bridgette Caquatto (113.450). She placed second on balance beam (28.950) and fifth on vault (29.650).
In the 2009 Junior Pan American Championships in Aracaju, Brazil, Raisman won the gold on vault and floor, and she earned a share of the U.S. team gold medal. She also placed third all-around.
Raisman's senior career began in March 2010 at the Tyson American Cup, where she placed second all around, first on vault, and second on beam and floor exercise.
Also in March 2010, Raisman was a member of the gold-winning U.S. team at the City of Jesolo Championships. She placed first all around, first on floor and vault, and third on beam.
In May 2010, Raisman was a member of the gold-medal winning U.S. team at the Pacific Rim Championships. She scored second place all around and made finals in bars (7th), beam (2nd) and floor exercise (2nd).
In July 2010 at the U.S. CoverGirl Classic competition, Raisman was fifth AA with a 55.7. Her score was particularly impacted by vault, where she attempted a 2.5 twisting Yurchenko vault ("Amanar") but crashed, landing on her hips, incurring a large penalty (7.5 execution) and only being recognized for a lower valued double-twisting Yurchenko. At the 2010 U.S. National Championships in Hartford, Connecticut, Raisman placed third in the all-around (115.650), behind winner Rebecca Bross (120.3) and silver medalist Mattie Larson (117). She placed third on both balance beam (28.300) and floor (29.500).
Raisman was named to the 2010 world team. At the 2010 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, she helped Team USA win the silver medal behind Russia by .200 of a point. She qualified third into the Women's Individual All Around competition but had a horrible bar routine which placed her in 13th in the final. She also qualified for the Women's Floor Exercise Final, and had a great routine with good, strong landings and came in 4th by .066 of a point.
Raisman was initially announced by USA Gymnastics as the sole American female representative for the March 5, 2011 AT&T American Cup, but she was joined by former American Cup winner Jordyn Wieber (who was a last minute replacement for a non-U.S. gymnast). Raisman finished in third place behind Wieber (first) and 2010 World All-Around Champion Aliya Mustafina (second).
At the March 19, 2011 City of Jesolo Championships, Raisman was a member of the United States team that won gold over the Italians and Russians. She won bronze in the all-around and golds on balance beam and floor exercise, the last shared with Sabrina Vega.
On July 23, 2011, Raisman won the all-around (57.25), placed first on floor exercise (14.7) and placed third on beam (15.0) at the 2011 CoverGirl Classic in Chicago, IL. She also competed her Amanar vault successfully for the first time, achieving the second highest score (15.1) on vault behind Brestyan's teammate Alicia Sacramone.
Raisman won the all-around bronze medal (114.60) at the 2011 U.S. Senior National Championships in St. Paul, Minnesota, held August 18–20, 2011. She placed third on floor exercise (29.15) and sixth on balance beam (27.9).
Following two selection camps at the Karolyi Ranch in New Waverly, Texas, Raisman was named to the U.S. team for October's 2011 World Gymnastics Championships in Tokyo, Japan.
During the preliminary round of competition at 2011 Worlds, Raisman delivered a strong all-around performance, qualifying to the all-around final in fourth place (58.432). In addition, she qualified first to the floor final (14.833) and sixth to the beam final (14.933). The skills she competed included a double twisting Yurchenko on vault (14.666), a tucked double front dismount on bars (14.0), an arabian double front dismount on beam, and a 1 1/2 to tucked double arabian to tucked punch front on floor. The U.S. team finished the preliminary round in first place (234.253), ahead of Russia (231.062), China (230.370) and Romania (227.228).
Raisman performed on vault, balance beam and floor during the women's team final competition at Worlds. She executed a double-twisting Yurchenko on vault, and her skills on beam included a back handspring to layout and a double arabian dismount. On floor, she performed a tucked double arabian and a piked double arabian, along with a triple twist and a double pike dismount. The U.S. won the team gold medal (179.411) over second-place Russia (175.329) and third-place China (172.820).
During the women's all-around final at Worlds, Raisman got off to a good start on vault with a high-scoring Yurchenko double twist (15.233). She faltered on uneven bars when one of her hands slipped off the high bar, resulting in several errors, but she finished her routine with a clean double front dismount (12.90). She rebounded on beam with a set that included a back handspring layout, a front pike layout stepout and a double arabian dismount (14.525). She continued to regain ground on floor exercise, where she tumbled a 1 1/2 to double arabian to punch front, a piked double arabian, a triple twist and a double pike (14.9). She finished the all-around in fourth place—the same as her qualifying finish during preliminaries.
Raisman competed in two event finals, the balance beam and the floor. She placed fourth on beam with a score of 15.066 and took the bronze on floor, scoring 15.000 on that apparatus. Raisman ended her beam set with her arabian double front dismount. On floor, her skills included a 1 1/2 to double arabian to punch front, a piked double arabian, a triple twist and a double pike.
Raisman was believed to join the gymnastics team of the University of Florida but as the signing day passed without a sign of her, rumours of her going pro emerged. They were confirmed on the 16th of November as she signed with the agency Octagon Sports who will represent her from this point on. By becoming a professional athlete, Raisman gave up her NCAA eligibility, following her Worlds teammates Jordyn Wieber and Alicia Sacramone.
On March 3, 2012, Raisman competed at the American Cup. She threw a 2-1/2 Yurchenko (Amanar) vault and scored a 16.100. She faltered a little on uneven bars, but came back with strong beam and floor routines. On floor, she debuted a new opening pass: a one and a half twist walkout into double Arabian punch front layout. She placed second behind teammate Jordyn Wieber.
Raisman was named to the team that would compete at the City of Jesolo Trophy. The American team placed first and Raisman placed second in the all-around, behind teammate Kyla Ross.
Raisman competed at the Secret US Classic in May. She won the all-around competition, as well as the balance beam (tied with Jordyn Wieber) and floor exercise, tied for second on vault, and tied for sixth on uneven bars.
Raisman competed at the Visa Championships. She was the leader after two rotations and in third place at the end of day one. She also posted one of the highest balance beam scores of the night, 15.2, same as Alicia Sacramone. She continued to perform well on day two, finishing third in the all-around. She also won two National titles on balance beam and floor exercise, and placed eleventh on uneven bars.
At the Olympic trials, Raisman performed well, apart from a step out of bounds on floor exercise. She continued to perform well on day two, securing a spot on the Olympic team. She was also named team captain.
During qualifications, Raisman was the only gymnast on the US team to not have a major error. Her four clean routines surprisingly won her a spot in the all-around, qualifying higher than both Gabby Douglas and Jordyn Wieber. She also qualified fifth to the balance beam final and first to the floor exercise final.
During the team final, Raisman competed on balance beam and floor exercise. She scored a 14.933 on beam and a 15.300 on floor. Her performances helped the US win their second Olympic gold medal.
In the all-around, Raisman started on vault, where she scored a 15.900. She moved to uneven bars, which she performed fine and scored a 14.333. On balance beam, Raisman had a very large balance check and grabbed the beam to stay on. She scored a 14.200. On floor, she still omitted the punch front layout after her Arabian double front, but still scored a 15.133. Originally, Raisman tied with Russia's Aliya Mustafina for the bronze, until a tie breaker was induced and the bronze was awarded to Mustafina.
In the balance beam final, Raisman performed last. She originally scored a 14.966, but her coach, Mihai Brestyan filed an inquiry about her score. Her appeal was accepted and her score was changed to 15.066, tying her for the bronze with Romania's Catalina Ponor. A tie breaker was then induced and the bronze was awarded to Raisman.
In the floor exercise final, Raisman performed third. Raisman scored a 15.600, her highest score on floor the entire Olympics, and won the gold over Romania's Catalina Ponor and Russia's Aliya Mustafina. Raisman and teammate Gabby Douglas joined Shannon Miller as the only Americans to win two gold medals at a single Olympics. Raisman was also the most decorated American gymnast of the Olympics.
Shortly after the conclusion of the gymnastics competition at the Olympics, Raisman announced her intention to compete at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
Raisman participated in the Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions from September 8 to November 18. A few weeks into the tour, she and McKayla Maroney became injured performing on the uneven bars. However, Raisman's injury was not as serious as Maroney's and she was able to continue on the tour.
Raisman, along with teammates Wieber and Douglas, participated in the Teen Choice Live tour from December 28 to March 3. However, the tour was canceled a few weeks in.
In February 2013, Raisman was announced as a cast member on the sixteenth season of Dancing With the Stars. Her professional partner was Mark Ballas. She placed fourth.
Raisman returned to part-time training in May. At the National Championships in August, Raisman was inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame with the rest of the Fierce Five. She returned to her first National Team training camp in October, and after attending a training camp in late November, Raisman was added back to the National team.
Raisman returned to competition for the first time since the Olympics at the City of Jesolo Trophy. She helped the team to a gold medal finish and hit an upgraded floor routine to score 15.200 and win bronze in the all-around. In the floor exercise final, she tucked down her punch front in her first pass and stepped out of bounds, but still managed to win the bronze.
In July, she competed at the U.S. Classic, her first domestic competition since the Olympic Trials. She performed well on her first three events, but sat down an upgraded tumbling pass on floor and finished fifth in the all-around. In August, Raisman competed at the National Championships. On day one, she suffered an uncharacteristic fall on balance beam but rallied to finish the day strong, including posting the highest score on floor exercise of the night. She had a better competition on day two, choosing to remove some of her connections in her beam routine. She finished third in the all-around and won the title on floor exercise.
She was named to the American team for the World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland in October. There, she had some issues in qualifications, including a fall on uneven bars and rather low scores on balance beam and floor exercise. She failed to qualify for the all-around or any individual event finals, but rallied in the team final with a much improved floor routine and helped the Americans defend their team gold medal.
Raisman started off the season at the City of Jesolo Trophy. She had a rough start, falling on vault, but hit three routines to win team gold and place sixth in the all-around. Individually, she won gold on floor exercise and bronze on balance beam. In April, she competed at the Pacific Rim Championships, winning team and floor exercise gold and all-around and balance beam silver. In June, she competed at the U.S. Classic. She started the competition rough when she fell on uneven bars, but battled back to win the all-around title. She also won gold on vault and floor, bronze on beam, and placed nineteenth on uneven bars.
At the National Championships, Raisman won silver in the all-around, a personal best for her. She also won silver on beam and floor and placed twelfth on uneven bars. She advanced to the Olympic Trials, where she placed second on floor exercise, third in the all-around, vault, and balance beam, and eleventh on uneven bars. She was named to U.S. Olympic team for the second time.
The Americans competed in the fourth subdivision of qualifications, starting on floor exercise. Raisman went clean on all of her events, apart from a large balance check on beam. She helped the Americans qualify first and qualified second to the all-around and floor exercise finals. She competed on three events in the team final, helping secure the gold for the Americans. In the all-around, she performed admirably, crying as soon as she finished her floor routines, overwhelmed with emotion, as she knew she had finally won an all-around medal: a silver. She won another silver on floor exercise.
2011-2012 - "Hava Nagila" by DJ Jacob