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 8, which she offered via email.
Q. Is there anyone in the world better at giving lessons on how to be a seductive harlot than Mark Ballas?
No, I don't think so! We had a lot of fun in rehearsals! It was fun tapping into a different character and trying something new.
Q. A year ago, you were basically a relative unknown in the U.S. Now you are an Olympic gold medalist and TV star. Most people dream of a life like you have now, but what is the WORST part of being well known?
I don't like to think negatively! I am extremely happy and feel so lucky. I am having so much fun and have been blessed to make friends all over the world. I wouldn't change this life for anything! I have worked so hard my entire life, so to be able to have fun and try something new has been really cool and special to me.
Q. Do you get worried or scared doing all those lifts?
I do! I am not a dancer, so I am trying these lifts for the first time. On top of that, Mark has an injured back so I can't mess up! It makes me nervous in practice because I am so scared that if I do it wrong, even slightly, then he will be in a lot of pain!
Q. The semifinals are next week. Did you think you would make it this far?
I had no idea what to expect coming into this competition. I have surpassed my expectations! I never expected to improve this much and to learn so much.
Q. The most important question of the season: If you win the Mirror Ball trophy, do you put a chain around it and wear it around your neck with your Olympic medals?
Yes. I would absolutely love to do that! I would be so proud to have that Mirror Ball trophy. I have been working so hard. It has truly been an amazing experience, so regardless of the outcome, I am so thankful to be on the show. I have learned a lot and I will be able to take what I've learned from this show and incorporate it into my gymnastics!
You can follow Aly Raisman on Twitter at @aly raisman.
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