Aly Raisman is used to aiming for gold in the gymnastics arena — but as she gears up for her final three performances during the May 20 Dancing With the Stars finale, Raisman has her heart set on something else: The sparkly-silver Mirror Ball.
"I am so excited," the 18-year-old tells Us Weekly exclusively. "I have worked so hard at this. My goal from the start was to make the finale so now I just want to enjoy and cherish the last few performances and make tonight a night to remember!"
As she does final preparations for her three dances — samba, cha cha relay and the free style — with her partner, Mark Ballas, she admits she's feeling a little nervous.
"I'm normal nervous — not anymore than usual," she dishes to Us. "Definitely not as nervous as I was for the Olympics. This is just for fun! It's the first time in my life that I am doing something different so I'd honestly rather enjoy it than anything else."
During the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the Needham, Mass., gymnast won three medals: a team gold, an individual gold on the floor execise, and a bronze on the balance beam. If Raisman wins DWTS, she wouldn't be the first gymnast to do so — 2008 Olympic medalist Shawn Johnson won the eighth season with Ballas as her partner as well.
Raisman is part of the show's first-ever four-couple finale. She's facing off against Baltimore Ravens wide receiver, Jacoby Jones, singer Kellie Pickler, and Disney actress Zendaya.
Once Raisman takes her dancing shoes off and the excitement of the season calms down, she'll be back in the gym, training for her return to the competitive field of gymnastics.
"I'll go back to intense training so I'm just taking it all and having fun," she confirms. "It's definitely exhausting, hard and stressful but I love it so much. I'll remember this for the rest of my life."
The DWTS season 16 finale airs Monday, May 20 on ABC. A winner will be crowned during the Tuesday, May 21, final results show.
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