Aly Raisman Wins Over the World’s Coldest Hearts

Last week I wrote about how Needham’s Aly Raisman conquered what my grandmother endearingly used to call “The Jewish Internet.” After picking up another gold medal plus a bronze yesterday in London, she’s certainly conquered the Olympics, too. Ordinarily, I’d say that’s a pretty solid couple week’s work. But no! There’s more. Forget taking down the Russian and Chinese gymnasts, Raisman’s also accomplished a feat long thought impossible for a Boston athlete: she’s won over the New York Post. Behold:

The Post story goes on to gush how Raisman not only performed her routine to Hava Nagila, but connected it to the International Olympic Committee’s refusal to acknowledge the 40th anniversary of the massacre of 11 Israelis at the 1972 games in Munich with a moment of silence. The article quotes her:

“Having that floor music wasn’t intentional,” an emotional but poised Raisman told reporters after her performance.

“But the fact it was on the 40th anniversary is special, and winning the gold today means a lot to me.”

The Post article’s pièce de résistance, though, comes when the writer, Leonard Greene, interviews Raisman’s rabbi. Why? Because I dunno, why not? If you’re going to pander to Jews, you might as well go whole hog, right? (Non-kosher food reference intentional.)

“She is a focused person,” said Rabbi Keith Stern, spiritual leader of Temple Beth Avodah in Newton Centre, Mass., where the Raisman family are members.

“She’s very proud and upfront about being Jewish. Neither she nor her family explicitly sought to send a message. But it shows how very integrated her Jewish heritage is in everything that she does.”

So there you have it. Aly Raisman: champion of the Jews, the New York Post, Needham, Mass., the Olympics, the United States, and pretty much everything else. Her Olympics may be over, but it’s a safe bet that the naches is just beginning.