Aly Raisman wants to go to a third Olympics.
The six-time Olympic medalist gymnast said on The Ellen Show on Wednesday that she plans to take one year off and then return to training with an eye on the 2020 Tokyo Games.
“That’s the goal,” she said. “I’m going to take off a little bit of time, just because I think I need a little bit of a break. I took a full year off in 2012. I’m going to do the same thing, take a year off, and then I’ll begin training again.
“I thought I was in the best shape of my life in 2012. It’s even better now. So I’m excited to see what will happen in 2020.”
Raisman, 22, won three medals each at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. She is one medal shy of Shannon Miller‘s career record of seven for a U.S. Olympic gymnast, a mark that will certainly be talked about leading into 2020 should Raisman be in Olympic team contention. (Simone Biles, who is also taking a break from gymnastics but uncertain if or when she will return, has five Olympic medals.)
Raisman would become the oldest U.S. Olympic women’s gymnast since Annia Hatch in 2004. In fact, Raisman will be the exact same age — to the day — on the day of the Opening Ceremony in Tokyo as Hatch was on the day of the 2004 Athens Opening Ceremony.
The last U.S. female gymnast to make three Olympics was Dominique Dawes in 1992, 1996 and 2000.
Of course, Raisman’s path will be difficult. The U.S. has proven to be the deepest nation in women’s gymnastics the last several years.
Though a rule change will cut 2020 Olympic team event sizes from five to four gymnasts, nations can actually qualify up to six gymnasts for the Games. In that case, two of the six would be eligible for individual events only.
Raisman was initially opposed to the rule change, but it could benefit her if she determines in her comeback that she would like to specialize in one or two individual events. Floor exercise is her trademark apparatus.Follow @nzaccardi