David Ortiz

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Aly Raisman’s advice from David Ortiz after pre-Olympic injury

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It’s Christmas Eve 2015, and Aly Raisman is — where else — at Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz‘s house.

She’s also sporting a black walking boot.

Raisman said in her book, “Fierce,” published Tuesday, that she partially tore left ankle ligaments warming up on floor exercise at a December 2015 national team camp.

Raisman thought about quitting gymnastics during that camp, not only for that injury but also because she was brought to tears — two days before getting hurt — believing that she wouldn’t make the Olympic team named in seven months.

Raisman was told by a doctor to keep pressure off the ankle for four weeks.

Later that month, she arrived at Ortiz’s house for a Christmas Eve small group gathering. Raisman and Ortiz had been friends since she threw a ceremonial first pitch at an August 2012 Red Sox game.

Ortiz asked how she was doing wearing that boot.

“I just don’t feel confident anymore,” she said. “There are all these younger girls coming up, and they’re all better than me.”

Ortiz, then a 40-year-old going into his final MLB season, nodded and offered advice.

“You have to use the moment and not let it use you,” he said.

Seven months later, Raisman made her second Olympic team. A month after that, she won another Olympic gold and two silvers, giving her six career Olympic medals.

Raisman plans to return for a Tokyo 2020 run.

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MORE: How Raisman addressed Larry Nassar in book

David Ortiz weighed down by Aly Raisman’s medals (video)

David Ortiz, Aly Raisman
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David Ortiz called his good friend Aly Raisman on Thursday night. Raisman had one request for their scheduled meeting for Friday.

“I told him that he had to hold my medals while I threw out the first pitch,” Raisman said on NESN. “I told him he better not forget, but he remembered.”

Ortiz made it a highlight, wearing Raisman’s three Rio medals and plodding as if they were weighing him down before the Royals-Red Sox game at Fenway Park on Friday night.

It was reminiscent of Bryce Harper serving as a medal rack for Katie Ledecky on Wednesday night.

Ortiz and Raisman have come to know each other in the last four years, after Raisman’s first Olympic appearance in London. Raisman, a native of Needham, Massachusetts, has attended a gala and golf tournament benefitting Ortiz’s children’s charity.

She previously threw a first pitch at Fenway following the 2012 London Games. It didn’t faze Raisman that her pitch Friday bounced before reaching home plate.

“My pitch was horrible, but that’s OK,” Raisman said on NESN. “I’m good at gymnastics, so it doesn’t matter.”

Raisman will rejoin her Final Five teammates for a USA Gymnastics tour of 36 cities that begins Sept. 15. Whether she returns to competitive gymnastics is unknown.

MORE: Gymnastics royalty reacts to Biles and Raisman’s Olympic heroics

 

Larry Bird, David Ortiz among Boston 2024 board of directors

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Olympic gold medalist Larry Bird and Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz were among 30 board of directors announced by Boston’s 2024 Olympic bid organizers on Wednesday.

The group also includes 2004 Olympic marathon silver medalist Meb Keflezighi, nine-time U.S. figure skating champion Michelle Kwan and former Boston Celtics guard and 1976 Olympic champion Jo Jo White.

U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun and board of directors members are also on the Boston 2024 board, including four-time Olympic hockey medalist Angela Ruggiero.

Boston 2024 has the full list of 30 in a press release here.

Boston 2024 recently called for a statewide referendum and will only continue with its Olympic bid if a majority of people in Massachusetts and in Boston support the bid. The referendum was proposed for November 2016.

International Olympic Committee members will vote to choose the 2024 Olympic host city in 2017.

Rome and Hamburg, Germany, are other confirmed bidders. Paris may also bid to host the Games on the 100-year anniversary of its 1924 Olympics.

Boston beat out Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., in a U.S. Olympic Committee decision to choose a 2024 U.S. bid city in January.

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