Olympic Gymnast Aly Raisman of Needham Will Compete on ‘Dancing With the Stars’

The Olympic gold medalist is partnered with Mark Ballas for season 16.

aly raisman dancing with the stars

Aly Raisman photo by Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

Get ready, Raisman fans. The Olympic gold medalist from Needham will be competing on Season 16 of Dancing With the Stars. The full cast—including Wynonna Judd, Jacoby Jones, and Kellie Pickler—was announced today on Good Morning America.

But are we really that surprised? Raisman and the rest of the Fierce Five Olympic gymnastics already guest starred on Dancing With the Stars last season as backup dancers for fellow gymnast Shawn Johnson. After that performance (watch it below), all five were potential candidates for DWTS.

Raisman is the token “fresh-from-the-Olympics” dancer of Season 16, and she’s clearly following in Johnson’s footsteps. Her professional dance partner is Mark Ballas, who has won the DWTS twice before: the first with Olympic figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi, and the second with Johnson in the all-star season. (What a challenge it must be for Ballas to have to train Olympic athletes who dance on ice and balance beams for a living!)

As far as the viewers are concerned, Raisman’s casting means two things:

1. Needham’s sweetheart is returning to TV. And if her previous performances in London are any indication, she’s definitely a frontrunner to win that hideous DWTS trophy. (Keep in mind one of Raisman’s two gold medals at the Olympic Games was for the floor exercise.)

2. Perhaps more importantly, we are especially excited to see her friends and family in the DWTS audience, specifically Raisman’s parents, who went viral after they were broadcast while watching her perform in London. We’re also hoping to see the other Fierce Five-ers in the audience—will McKayla Maroney be impressed?!

Below, watch Aly Raisman and the Fierce Five on last season’s Dancing With the Stars last season. Season 16 premieres March 18.

Also check out our Q&A with Raisman from last year after her Olympic wins.