Aly Raisman competes during Week 4 of "Dancing With the Stars." (ABC )
The Times has gymnast Aly Raisman, a two-time Olympic gold medalist at the London Games, guest-blogging while she competes on "Dancing With the Stars." Each week while she competes on the show, Raisman will answer a few questions from Sports Now editor Houston Mitchell and give some insight into the competition. Here are Raisman's thoughts about Week 4, which she offered via email.
Q. Len Goodman had a rare joke when he said you didn’t get enough height on the last flip. Did he fool you for a second?
Yes, I'm way too gullible! I take everything they say so seriously because I want to impress them.
Q. You chose 2012 as your year, because of your Olympic success. My daughter took gymnastics, and I saw a lot of girls at classes who have Olympic dreams. Do you ever think about the times you were a child and compare it to how your life turned out?
Yeah of course. I always think back to how I used to watch a VCR tape of the women's '96 Olympic team final over and over again. I was obsessed and so inspired! I wanted to be just like them.
Q. What is a typical training day for you during this competition? What time do you get up, do you eat differently than normal, etc.
I eat normally during the competition and I always try to eat healthy. Lots of fruits, vegetables, and protein. It's also so important to stay hydrated! I practice about 6 hours each day, but honestly it depends on the week. For the Viennese waltz we practiced one night for 10 hours with just one break! Some dances are harder for me than others.
Q. You obviously are in great physical shape from your gymnastics training, does dance use different sets of muscles than gymnastics? In other words, do you find yourself as sore as some of the other competitors?
I was so sore this past week. Contemporary was very different than anything I've ever done. Doing the lifts with Mark made me sore, and doing gymnastics on the wood floor didn't feel too hot either. I am used to dancing by myself on a carpet so tumbling and dancing with someone else in a completely new environment is definitely a challenge!
Q. What is the most important thing you have learned from your partner, Mark Ballas, about dancing.
To be a great dancer and performer you have to act. Last night I felt so in the performance, so in the moment! It felt amazing; I really put myself back in the mind set of training. I pictured all the long hours of training and how hard it was for me to make it to the Olympics, so I really wanted to show people how much sacrifice, dedication, and hard work it took.
You can follow Aly Raisman on Twitter at @aly_raisman.
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