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Aly Raisman to talk self-love and confidence at ULS

Retired Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman will speak at Tuesday’s ULS event, reflecting on her career and offering advice on obtaining positivity and confidence. CREATIVE COMMONS

The second University Lecture Series (ULS) of the semester will feature Aly Raisman, the team captain of the Women’s Gymnastic teams in 2012 and 2016 and three-time Olympic gold medalist, who will speak on topics surrounding self-love and body positivity Tuesday night.

Check-in for the event will begin at 5:30 p.m. and doors will open at 7:30 p.m. Raisman will be speaking in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom from 8-9 p.m.

Students can preregister through BullsConnect in order to guarantee themselves a seat and have priority entrance to the event, something Campus Activities Board highly recommends.

Although the ballroom has a capacity of 802 people, there are only 700 available spots open for students to preregister. This is to account for additional staff, VIPs and USF Dignitaries that will also be in attendance, according to Isabelle Starner, ULS and special events graduate assistant. As of Monday evening, 250 students have preregistered.

The event, in which Raisman was paid an all-inclusive speaker fee of $50,000, will be moderated by Monica L. Miranda, director of the Center for Student Involvement (CSI). Starner said Miranda will center questions around Raisman’s career and other topics such as confidence and inspiration.

Following the 45-minute speaking engagement with Raisman, students will have the opportunity to ask Raisman questions during a 15 minute Q&A-style session. However, Starner said the way students will ask questions will differ from ULS events in the past.

“Soon we will post on CSI’s Instagram story for students to type in their questions that will be asked at the end of the lecture,” she said. “We will also have a QR code present at the lecture for students to scan and type their question that will be also asked at the end of the lecture.”

Raisman is a six-time Olympic medalist, possessing three golds, two silvers and one bronze. Her Olympic career as an artistic gymnast launched early on in her life, as she participated in the 2012 Summer Olympic Games even though she was only a senior in high school at the time.

Following the 2012 Olympic Games, Raisman took a break from competitive gymnastics. During this time, she achieved milestones unaffiliated with gymnastics, such as earning fourth place on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2013.

She was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2013, but was inspired two years later to return to competitive gymnastics.

Raisman won a gold medal in the team event at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. This made her and Gabby Douglas the only Americans to obtain back-to-back team gold medals.

In January 2020, Raisman announced her retirement in an Instagram post to spend more time discovering herself and reflecting on her career so far, and to have more available time to spend with family and friends.

She now works as a program designer at the gymnastics camp where she initially trained, Camp Woodward.