Aly Raisman On What It's Like to Compete In a Sport That's All About Perfection
Why she'd rather be #PerfectNever than a perfect 10.
If you haven't heard of Reebok's epic #PerfectNever movement, you're missing some seriously inspiring stuff. Queen badass herself, Ronda Rousey, launched the campaign with a moving video that made us all want to wipe off our makeup, ditch the put-together act, and go totally raw (both physically and mentally). Gigi Hadid followed suit with a total #realtalk interview, showing everyone that she's so much more than a pretty face-she's tough-as-hell and ready to prove it.
The #PerfectNever movement calls to women to reject the expectations and pressures of perfection-because, first of all, true perfection doesn't exist and, second, perfect never gets better. Think about it: If you've reached the hypothetical top, where's the fire to improve? Whether it's making gains in your body, your mind, your skills, or your attitude, it's all about pushing to be your best. We couldn't think of a better partner to show off a little #PerfectNever magic than two-time Olympic gymnast and six-time Olympic medalist Aly Raisman, who shows that it's not about what anyone else thinks-it's about channeling your inner champ, 100 percent of the time. (Just read how she clapped back at Internet haters who didn't appreciate her strong body.)
Raisman could have been satisfied with winning a gold medal in floor exercise and the team gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Or she could have been satisfied with a second team gold, silver in the all-around competition, and silver in floor exercise at the Rio de Janiero 2016 Olympic Games. But she's not done yet; her relentless dedication to the sport is leading her to a third go at the Olympics (something you very rarely see gymnasts do).
"When I said that I was coming back for a second Olympic Games, people doubted me," she says. "I knew in my heart that I was going to be able to do it again."
Not only is she refusing to stop at the gymnastics glass ceiling, but she's doing it in a sport that is rooted in perfection itself. "If you breathe at the wrong second, you could make a mistake," she says. From pointed toes, to slicked-back buns, and stuck landings, flawlessness is what gets you the gold.
And she's not done yet. Tokyo 2020, Aly Raisman is coming for you-and she doesn't necessarily care about getting a perfect 10.