While never dominating the headlines like her teammates Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman has become one of the greatest American gymnasts in history. The captain of the U.S. team in both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic games, Raisman has accumulated a total of six Olympic medals over her career — good enough for second all-time among Americans and just behind the legendary Shannon Miller. So as one of the biggest stars of these Olympics, it'd make sense that Raisman is at the Olympics closing ceremony. Sadly, though, it appears that she decided to stay home. The two-time Olympian is in no rush to end her experience at what might be her last Olympic games, and she is representing the red, white, and blue at the closing ceremony.
The closing ceremony takes place at the conclusion of the games (naturally) on Sunday, Aug 21, and artistic gymnastics, on the other hand, concluded back on Tuesday, Aug. 16. Sometimes, athletes will leave the Olympics and return home after their sport has concluded; particularly if they have a long layoff. For instance, swimming concluded on Aug. 13 — a full week before the closing ceremony — and many swimmers, like Ryan Lochte, have already left Rio. But Raisman decided to stick around.
So what's next for Raisman now that the games are over? Well, the superstar hasn't ruled out more gymnastics at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Raisman took a year off from the sport following the London Olympics in 2012, but came back and ended up performing even better than ever at the age of 22 in 2016. And it sounds like she's going to follow a similar plan now. "I'm gonna take a break and then, I mean, never say never," Raisman told NBC's Bob Costas about a possible return. "I thought I was in the best shape of my life in 2012 and it's even better here, so maybe I just get better with age."
But 2020 is still four years away, and if she chooses not to attend, you can be happy to have seen Raisman put the finishing touch on a truly amazing performance in Rio.