In the United States, the women who make the Olympic artistic gymnastics team will often only do so just once. With the amount of talent that the U.S. produces, the competition the gymnasts face domestically is tough. So to make more than one Olympic team is considered an impressive feat.
Aly Raisman is one of the few American gymnasts who has competed for Team USA at the Olympics more than once. She first participated in the international event at the 2012 Olympic Games in London as a member of the Fierce Five. She then expanded her global competitive experience by making it to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio as a member of the Final Five.
Over the course of two Olympics, Raisman won six total medals: three gold, two silver and one bronze. Rio was the last time the two-time Olympian competed in gymnastics, but she is still trying to better the sport.
Raisman Designed the Gymnastics Program for Camp Woodward
Raisman announced her retirement from gymnastics in an Instagram post from January 2020, but she remains involved with the sport. Camp Woodward, a summer camp with programming for gymnastics and other sports, recently announced its partnership with Raisman.
With Raisman’s involvement, the goal is “to elevate the program for the next generation of aspiring athletes.”
The revamped program features a “partnership with child protection industry-leaders.” The program’s staff undergo abuse prevention education from Darkness to Light, an organization whose aim is to end child sexual abuse.
In an interview with “The New Yorker,” the two-time Olympian explained that “It’s been healing to be in a gymnastics environment that is fun and uplifting.
“It reminded me of when I was younger, too, of just how much fun gymnastics is,” Raisman said of Camp Woodward. “It’s cool to be able to fall in love with the sport again.”
Along with designing the program, Raisman did some coaching, directly offering her expertise to the young gymnasts. She also got to engage in other activities with campers, such as horseback riding and go-kart racing.
She Remains an Active Advocate for Athlete Safety
Raisman is one of hundreds of gymnasts who were sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar. She continues to voice her criticism of the sport’s national governing organization, wanting change and accountability.
Most recently, Raisman was not afraid to hold back on her criticism of both USA Gymnastics and the United States Olympic Committee during the aforementioned interview with “The New Yorker”:
When I think about USA Gymnastics, I think it’s just, like, rotten from the inside out. It’s not a good organization. Perhaps there are some people who have the intention of doing the right thing, but I think the leadership at the top needs to be completely redone.
The United States Olympic Committee is a disaster, too. It’s not just a problem in USA Gymnastics. I know that figure skaters and other athletes have spoken out about abuse. A lot of these organizations are corrupt, and the U.S. Olympic Committee is in charge of all of that. They need to hire people who actually care, who take this seriously, and they’re not.
A Partner of Aerie, Raisman Has a Clothing Line
Following the 2016 Rio Games, the former gymnast became a partner of the apparel retailer Aerie, which is owned by American Eagle Outfitters.
Raisman first collaborated with the brand for a charitable swimsuit that highlighted the strength of those who have been abused. Aerie then released the “Aerie x Aly Raisman Collection,” a line of activewear that draws inspiration from “strength, wellness and mindful living.”
Earlier this year, Raisman’s second collection with the company debuted, the “OFFLINE by Aerie x Aly Raisman Collection.” She explained in a feature video that the designs were inspired by nature and animals with the intention of being versatile pieces that could be used for working out, staying in or hanging out with friends.
For each item purchased from the collection, 15% of the sales — up to $60,000 — is donated to the nonprofit organization Darkness to Light, whose purpose is to end child sexual abuse.
For the photoshoot featuring the collection, Raisman had her dog, Mylo, join in. Mylo was recently making headlines when, at the start of the month, he went missing. Raisman’s dog has since been found.