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154: Aly in The Body Issue

Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman body issue
Olympic gold medalist, Aly Raisman in the 2015 ESPN magazine’s Body issue. Click on the image for her video and interview with ESPN.


In the News

In the news this week, Uncle Tim and Jessica chat about:

  • Aly Raisman’s take on the lack of eating disorders in gymnastics and learning to have muscle pride in ESPN’s Body Issue
  • Raducan asked the Olympic Committee to give her gold back, they said no.
  • International Gymnastics Federation President, Bruno Grandi’s interview on the 2020 Olympic qualification changes:
    • Grandi says gymnastics has a business problem; but is really just a marketing problem?
    • We agree with Grandi most of the time, but when he leans on nostalgia for evidence, we tear his arguments to shreds!
    • Grandi argues that Romania has been hurt by the lack of elegance in the code. He must mean this 1978 routine from Romanian, Emilia Eberle. Famous for the hump the floor choreography.
  • Menstrual Cups for gymnastics. If you have used them for gymnastics, tell us about your experience.
  • How not to flirt with girls at gymnastics
  • Gym Myth Busters:
    • Is difficulty really the strongest predictor of all-around rankings?
    • Do height or weight matter in elite gymnastics?
    • Shawn Johnson promotes self love on The Secret Life of The American Teenager.

Related Links

  • Full Out Movie has an air date! August 9th 4pm after the NFL pre-season game on LA/San Diego television.
  • 2000 Olympic Trials: Special Victims Unit from The Balance Beam Situation
  • Do Height and Weight Matter in Women’s Elite Gymnastics? Uncle Tim has the answer.
  • E-Scores vs. D-Scores: Which is the strongest predictor of all-around rank? Find out here.
  • Sexy Data: Which event is the strongest predictor of all-around rankings?
  • Lauren Mitchell wishes to stress that she has yet to make a decision on her gymnastics future
  • Gymnast Kiera Brown dismissed from the team due to violation of team rules

Related Episodes

Related Photos

us gymnastics team pan am games 205
Gymnastics competition begins on July 11 with the men’s team finals, which also serve as the all-around and individual event final qualification. The women take the floor on July 12 for team finals.
  • Pan American Games scheduling and listings here.

Related Videos

Check out these meet summary videos from A R Federova.

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9 years ago

Is there a way to watch the pan am games?

9 years ago

I think it is great that Aly is healthy and hasn\’t had an eating disorder, however, it made me uncomfortable that she said she was \”proud\” not to have had one. Eating disorders are an illness not a choice and there is a significant clinical difference between unhealthy dieting and a mental illness. I think she should be proud that she is healthy and the choices she makes to stay healthy, but not proud that she hasn\’t had an eating disorder.

To illustrate my point, I am grateful that I do not had schizophrenia but I am not proud, because I don\’t think schizophrenia sufferers choose to be sick.

9 years ago
Reply to  Eliza

great point Eliza. Tbh Aly Raisman says a lot of motivational things that are generic: be yourself & love who you are, you are sooooo special, work hard and you can be whatever you want to be, etc.” Thats fine because it’s not controversial or offensive but she is media trained and her words often lack depth, scope or perspective, showed most clearly when she is asked to give opinions on complex issues. Her tirade against the 2020 rule changes to Time magazine and seminars she sometimes speaks at for young girls about body image highlights her lack of total understanding, especially when speaking on the latter subject. Instead of being honest and drawing on her own painful and personal experiences with how she herself has been attacked in the sport for being bigger, she is so relentlessly upbeat that she allows herself little personal reflection and spends almost no time parsing the troughs of her life (which could be life changing for a girl listening to her story). But alas, she basically just says what sounds right in her head (.i.e what she thinks a motivational speaker ought to be saying to young girls)…except she’s way out of her league and showing her complete ignorance when she mentions eating disorders, bullying, and sexuality in the same speech, interchangeably running through those themes with the perception that they’re all connected to body image for everyone, and her terminology [on bulimia, anorexia, binge eating, compulsive overeating, and purging] is very interchangeable as well, filling young girls with INCORRECT information and making it harder for them to get help if they need it.

It’s not Alys fault but more a need for America to reexamine why we give “celebrities” a wide platform to talk about complex issues that they are not expert on to an impressionable group. Instead of giving them 5 mins to say whatever feel good speech they want to and then introducing the real educators and leaders in the field, we expect celebrities to suddenly have turned into educators, and researchers, and psychologist and grant them an hour of speaking time. Even if they’re passionate about a subject, shit im passionate about things too, but I have to do my research and prove that I can be trusted to say the right things; celebs don’t have to do this, they get a go ahead to speak because they want to speak and often their good intentions have negative consequences because they’ve managed to be offensive or incorrect w/o even knowing it. The most a celebrity can do is just be honest about their own experiences and hope that a few people use that as motivation. Unfortunately, the young ones are very media trained and the same thing someone like Aly says is the same pick me up slogan you can find on a twitter account.

8 years ago

So, I know I\’m a little late to this, but I just wanted to see if I could clarify something said on this episode of the podcast. So in response to Aly saying she was considered old for gymnastics Jessica made a number of good points about the average age of gymnasts competing internationally in WAG. But then she also said every US olympic team for the past 5 or 6 olympics has had women in the 20s on the team, except \’08. I could be wrong, and perhaps it is a bit pedantic, but I don\’t think this is true (?). Unless maybe you include alternates? But from my quick online research I believe that there was no one over 19 while at the olympics on the 92, 96, and 12, teams – in \’08 I think Alicia was in her early 20s, so maybe Jessica meant 2012 – but regardless I believe only 3 of the last 6 Olympic teams had women in their 20s.
Obviously I wholeheartedly agree that there are an increasing number of amazing older gymnasts in WAG. And I will forever bow at the feet of Chusovitina. But I do think one of the downsides of the unbelievable depth of US gymnastics is that it does prevent the kind of enduring gymnastics careers that we see from other nations\’ programs.
Thanks for the amazing podcast! It is truly the best gymnastics podcast EVER.

Ashley DBD
Ashley DBD
8 years ago

So menstrual cups are awesome and I am still kind of upset I didn’t know about them when I was competing because I can’t tell you how annoying it was using tampons. And I remember at a meet this one poor girl had the string of her tampon come out of her leo. Also, had tons of issues with leaks, but menstrual cups have fixed all of my problems. I will say there is a bit of a learning curve and I had to try a couple brands to find one that fit me.

But if you have questions about using menstrual cups or any reusable menstrual products check out Her channel is a great start if you’ve never heard of menstrual cups before, especially to learn about all the different types and which ones are better for sports.

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