Olympic Gymnast Aly Raisman Has the Body Image Advice You Need to Hear
Plus what it's *really* like to step onto the floor to compete for the gold and how she spends her Saturday nights.
If you watched this year's Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, you probably saw six-time Olympic medalist Aly Raisman utterly slay the gymnastics game. (Matched only by all-around gold medalist Simone Biles, of course.) But no matter how high the pressure mounted or how many cameras were pointed her way, you'd never guess that this gymnastics veteran was the slightest bit nervous-or thinking about how she looks in a leotard.
Even when it comes to the Olympics-where the best athletes in the world get to showcase their incredible talent-people still find an excuse to focus on female athletes' appearances. And Aly Raisman is no exception; she recently took a stand against body-shaming teens who hated on her powerful muscles. That's why she's getting raw and real with the world about what it's really like to compete in a sport that's all about perfection-while being judged by the outside world as well. (Just check out this incredible video of her for Reebok's #PerfectNever campaign about exactly that.)
That's why we asked her how she stays body-positive no matter what's going on around her, how she stays focused, present, and calm during competitions, and how she unwinds outside of the gym. You'd be surprised! This gymnast seems to be a perfectionist on the mat, but IRL she lets loose and gets messy as well as the rest of us. (Want more Aly fun facts? Check out our speed round Q&A.)
In the end, Aly will make you realize that even the gold-medal-worthy among us have "off days." The important thing is to remember that 1) there's no such thing as perfect, and 2) you can love yourself and your body despite what anyone else says. (And she's just one of this huge crew of Olympians who are proud to tell you why they love their bodies.)