It’s been a month since the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team (a.k.a. The Fierce Five) took home the gold at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. For Aly Raisman, who also took home top honors on the floor exercise, the last 30 days have been a whirlwind tour of TV appearances, celebrity gigs, throwing out the first pitch at a Boston Red Sox game, even a parade in her hometown of Needham, complete with a 700 lbs. cake!
Raisman was kind enough to give HerCampus.com a few minutes of her time during a recent autograph signing at the American Girl store in Natick, Massachusetts. Here is what she had to say about life, a potential crush, college plans and her passion for fashion.
HC: Your fellow classmates are about to move into college for the first time. That’s pretty overwhelming, but we’d imagine your life has been just as crazy over the last few months.
AR: It’s been very hectic since the Olympics, but it’s been so much fun as well. I’ve been so busy, but I’m so excited to be here at the American Girl store today because I used to love them as a little kid and my little sisters love them now. So I’m doing this today and tomorrow I’m leaving on the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions for three months.
HC: Impressive. We hear that in addition to your teammates, 2008 Olympians Nastia Liukin and Alicia Sacramone will also be on the tour. Tell us how much they have meant to your career?
AR: I’m really excited that Nastia and Alicia are going to be on the tour with us because we’re all so close. Alicia is like my older sister, I’ve trained with her for so many years, and Nastia is a great role model also. She’s the 2008 Olympic champion and obviously watching her and the team in Beijing was inspiring for me.
HC: Was there one thing, aside from winning two gold medals, about the Olympic experience that stood out for you?
AR: I think just being in the Olympic Village and being able to meet all of the other athletes was just so amazing. Just being with the girls too, we had so much fun and it was just an amazing experience.
HC: We hear that Olympians get hooked up with all sorts of swag. True?
AR: We get a lot of clothes from the Olympic Village. We got a watch and my ring hasn’t even come in yet. My coaches Mihai and Silvie Brestyan actually gave me this (gold, Olympic ringed) necklace. I wear it every day and I never want to take it off.
HC: What is it like to have sponsors like Poland Spring and American Girl supporting you? We assume you are big fans of both of them!
AR: It’s really amazing to have American Girl and Poland Spring as sponsors. It’s really just such an honor. Like I said, I loved American Girl dolls when I was younger and I still do. To be here, signing autographs, it’s just so exciting for me. This whole year has really been exciting and a lot of hard work, but it has really been fun.
HC: What was your first American Girl doll?
AR: Samantha was my first.
HC: Do you have any tips on how to get a leotard-ready body?
AR: I always try and eat really healthy, I try to have a lot of protein in my diet and I also workout every day. Before the Olympics, I was working out 7 to 7.5 hours each day, which is a lot. That and staying hydrated is also important.
HC: What do you think about some of your fans trying to set you up with (NHL player) Tyler Seguin?
AR: I don’t know. I’ve never met him before, but I’m a big Bruins fan and I would love to meet all of the players.
HC: Who was the coolest person to Tweet you during the Olympics?
AR: It’s hard to pick just one person because there were so many amazing people who Tweeted at me.
HC: Besides the tour, what is one really cool thing on your agenda over the next few weeks?
AR: I’m going to the VMA’s on September 6th, so I’m just excited to meet a lot of people and to be there with the rest of the girls on the team.
HC: We’re you surprised that people made such a big deal over Gabby Douglas’s
AR: To be honest, I didn’t know it was such a big deal. Gabby is one of my best friends, I love her and she’s awesome. I don’t really read a lot of the stuff on the internet, so I didn’t know that there was a big deal about it.
HC: Do you know what your college plans are at the moment?
AR: I was committed to the University of Florida and then I decided to turn professional. It was a hard decision to make because the girls on the team were so nice and the coaches were awesome. I’m not really sure where I’m going to school yet, but I’m going to take this year off and decide.
Note: Raisman had committed to compete at the University of Florida, but NCAA rules dictate that professional athletes cannot compete at the collegiette level.
HC: What do you want to study?
AR: I definitely want to study fashion.
HC: That will play well with our readers. What about fashion excites you?
AR: I love how everyone can have their different styles and that you can wear whatever you want depending on the mood, or depending on the season. You can always pick something fun out that describes something about your personality.