Mihai Brestyan

Aly Raisman
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Aly Raisman expects to keep Mihai Brestyan as coach

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When Aly Raisman returns to training, she expects to continue working with longtime coach Mihai Brestyan, even though Brestyan is now the Australia women’s national team coach.

Raisman discussed the news last week while appearing at the LPGA Tour’s ANA Inspiration Women in Sports Conference at Rancho Mirage, Calif.

“I think I’d still, obviously, work with Mihai,” said Raisman, who said in September she would take a full year off and then return to training. “He’s not moving to Australia. I would never want to be with any other coach, but he’s still living in Boston and Massachusetts, and so the gym’s still in Burlington. He’s still there all the time. He’s going to go off to Australia, obviously, and be at their national-team training camps, but I also train a lot with his wife [Silvia]. His wife is my coach. She’s with me every single day. She’s an international judge, so having the combination of both of them is very, very key. So being able to have both of them, when he’s away, I’ll work strictly with her. Most of the time, I’ll be with both of them, unless he’s away at training camp.”

Raisman said in her most recent conversation with Brestyan before he got the Australia job, he told her that he didn’t think it would happen.

“It was like six months since the [Rio] Olympics, so I thought they would have already hired someone sooner,” Raisman said.

Raisman also said that Brestyan was at first hoping to succeed Martha Karolyi as U.S. women’s national team coordinator. That job went to Valeri Liukin.

“It was between Mihai or Valeri,” Raisman said. “[Brestyan] had opportunities to go anywhere. … I think [Australia] was a no-brainer for him.”

Raisman said she had not spoken with the Brestyans about who will be her coach on the floor at international meets, or when Mihai is away in Australia. Not surprising given it’s still a while before she’ll be competing again.

“I’m guessing it would have to be my coach Sylvie, because I’m not sure exactly what the rules are,” Raisman said. “I mean, Gymnastics Australia, they’re very nice and very understanding, so I’m sure if I needed Mihai for something, they’ll be very accommodating, but I’m sure there must be some rule that maybe Sylvie will have to definitely be down there with me, but Mihai will probably already be down there on the floor with the Australian gymnasts. I can see and talk to both of them. It might actually work out better.”

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Aly Raisman’s coach takes over Australian gymnastics program

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While Aly Raisman takes a break from gymnastics, her longtime coach decided to make a big change.

Mihai Brestyan has been appointed the Australian women’s national team coach.

“We are thrilled a coach with the experience and proven results of Mihai will be guiding our next generation of gymnasts and coaches as we look towards the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast next year and the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 and beyond,” Gymnastics Australia president Sam McKay said in a press release.

The Romanian-born Brestyan has the longest running streak of coaching U.S. female gymnasts at the Olympics.

He guided Alicia Sacramone to the 2008 Beijing Games and Raisman to London 2012 and Rio 2016.

Raisman, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, said in September that she would take a full year off and then return to training, like she did in the last Olympic cycle. Raisman has trained since 2004 with Mihai and Silvia Brestyan in Massachusetts.

Australia has never won an Olympic gymnastics medal. Its best team finish was sixth at Beijing 2008.

Brestyan succeeds Peggy Liddick, who coached Shannon Miller to seven Olympic medals and then spent 20 years at the helm in Australia, most famously during the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

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