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 9, which she offered via email.
Q. The finale is here! From my perspective, you are the most improved dancer from Week 1 to now. Can you feel the difference in your dancing skills and confidence?
Thank you! I can totally feel the difference. I feel so much more comfortable in rehearsals and performing on Monday nights! I don't feel afraid to try new things, and I'm not embarrassed to get into new characters! This is the most confident I've ever been.
Q. After your Queen of the Jungle dance, will you ever be able to watch "The Lion King" again?
Yes! I used to watch The Lion King every day when I was little! It was my favorite movie! I definitely felt like a princess on Monday night, so I was so happy when Bruno called me the "queen of the jungle!"
Q. Looking back at the season, what was your favorite dance?
I can't pick a favorite dance because there have been so many! I had the most fun during the group samba dance! I loved dressing up and wearing go go boots! It was awesome! Definitely my next year’s
Q. Any final words for your fans before next week's finale?
Thank you for all the votes and for keeping us in the competition for so long! I am having the time of my life! I can't wait for the finale. I promise Mark and I will work extra hard this week. I can't wait to get started on the freestyle!
You can follow Aly Raisman on Twitter at @aly raisman.