The badass gymnast shares how posing for Sports Illustrated helped her celebrate her shape.

By Faith Brar
Updated: February 16, 2017

Final Five captain, Aly Raisman already has five Olympic medals and 10 U.S. National Championships under her belt. Known for her mind-blowing floor routines, she recently updated her resume by becoming a Sport's Illustrated swimsuit model.

Raisman appeared in the magazine alongside teammate and world-renowned gymnast Simone Biles and has opened up about how proud she feels to show off her hard-earned muscular physique. In a recent video posted to Instagram, the 22-year-old shared how modeling has taught her to appreciate her body more than ever because it helps her celebrate her strength while embodying her femininity at the same time.

"I model because it makes me feel happy, strong, feminine and beautiful," she say on Instagram. "I think it's such an empowering feeling to be at a photoshoot and to know that your body is not perfect, that you have insecurities just like everyone else, but you're still having so much fun because you are unique and beautiful in your own way."

Raisman continues by sharing another reason why she models-a reason that she's openly talked about several times in the past. "I also model because when I was younger, I used to get made fun of by the boys in my class," she says. "They told me that I was too strong, that I looked manly and that I was anorexic and looked like I was on steroids.

"Of course, that really bothered me and I used to hate the way that I looked, which looking back makes me feel really sad, but that's why I'm so proud to be in the SI Swim 2017 issue because at 22-years-old I feel strong and beautiful in my own way."

We couldn't agree with her sentiments more: "Let's all take this opportunity to support one another...All women are beautiful and we all deserve (men & women) to grow up [believing] we can do anything we dream of. Let's keep that same mindset we had as a little kid. There was no dream that was too big, right?" Preach, girl.

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