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Monday, April 1, 2013
Aly Raisman on dancing, web series, teens

By Lynn Hoppes

Daniel Tosh. Rob Dyrdek. Now U.S. gymnastics captain and "Dancing with the Stars" competitor Aly Raisman.

Raisman, who led the women's team to the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics, is juggling a lot of things these days:

• Teaming with Mark Ballas to compete on the ABC dance elimination show, which is heading into the third week tonight.

• Working with the Century Council for its Ask, Learn, Listen program to stop underage drinking.

• And hosting an online humor video series called "Flippin' Awesome."

"It's fun to try something new," Raisman told espnW recently, "and also do something that's out my comfort zone."

That's an understatement for the 18-year-old Raisman, who grew up just outside Boston and first got involved in gymnasts at the age of 2. She has been off the ground ever since.

This spring she began a series of videos on YouTube to highlight the best female sports shorts. She's already highlighted track and field, boxing, diving, cheerleading and last week volleyball.

"This is something I always wanted to do and I had a great time filming them," Raisman said. "It's really fun and exciting to create my own channel. It's a really cool experience, and everyone can relate to the videos."

Raisman also has been keeping busy speaking to schoolchildren about the "Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don't Mix" program for the Century Council. She recently filmed a new public service announcement.

"I think a healthy lifestyle is extremely important and I'm trying to set a good example for my siblings. I know how hard it is these days with peer pressure," Raisman said. "But I think people have more respect for me because I'm still having fun without drinking. Honestly, I wouldn't be where I am if I didn't choose to live a healthy lifestyle."