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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

New England Sports 366, #13: Aly Raisman

Simone Biles might be the greatest American gymnast - maybe the greatest gymnast in the history of the sport. But she's from Ohio and Texas, so instead we'll take a look at her teammate on those 2012 and 2016 Olympic teams, Aly Raisman. Aly's ours, a native of Needham, Mass and a graduate of Needham High.

Raisman was captain of those gold medal teams - the "Fierce Five" in 2012 in London and the "Final Five" in 2016 in Rio. The floor routine is her specialty, with gold in '12 and silver in '16. For good measure, Raisman helped lead the American gold-medal efforts at the 2011 and 2015 World Championships. I'll always be a 1996 Magnificent Seven guy, but it's hard to deny the collective talent and greatness of those '12 and '16 teams.

Her leadership hasn't been limited to the gymnasium. In 2017 she went public as one of the sexual abuse victims of Olympic physician Larry Nasser, filing joint suit against the USOC and USA Gymnastics for their negligence in protecting athletes from abuse. In 2018, she was among the vocal survivors awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.

Just another New England girl kicking ass and taking names.

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