Aly Raisman is naked on the cover of ESPN’s Body Issue — and what’s great about a powerful, sexy, topless woman gracing the cover of a sports magazine is that, in this case, Raisman is an athlete. Instead of a swimsuit model. Like most athletes, Raisman is propelled by doubt and fear of failure, as well as confidence and ambition. And she’s also got a grip on reality, even as she does everything in her power to make her own reality. In an interview for the mag, Raisman says straight up: “I guess I’m considered older for a gymnast. I’m 21 and I’ll be 22 in the Olympics year.”
That means the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Raisman faces that reality dead on: “If I make the team,” Raisman says, “I’ll be the oldest U.S. gymnast.” The self-conscious if tells a lot — Raisman takes nothing for granted. But she’s altering that reality — training six days, 32 hours a week. And then there’s the absolute and singular focus: “Everything I put into my body is for the purpose of gymnastics,” she says. And who could doubt it? Raisman has to watch out after all — she’s kind of old! And though it’s true her body is 100% for gymnastics, the camera also looks pretty grateful about Raisman’s diet and training regimen.
See the video and photos here.