Aly Raisman and Michael Phelps have slammed Father Time to the ground in these Rio games.
The 31-year-old Phelps finished his career (we think) with 23 gold medals. The 22-year-old Raisman will seek her second straight gold medal in the floor exercise on Tuesday (7:30 p.m., NBC).
Both athletes are ancient, age-wise, in their respective sports and Phelps has already put the cap on an incredible run. Arguably the most famous Olympian from Boston in history (apologies to Nancy Kerrigan and Mike Eruzione), Raisman will likely cap her incredible stretch today.
The floor exercise is Raisman’s signature event, though she will undoubtedly get a run for her money in the final by U.S. teammate Simone Biles, who has dominated in Rio.
“No one goes in thinking they can beat Simone,” Raisman told Reuters. “People don’t go in thinking they can beat Usain Bolt either. It’s kind of the same thing.”
After the Olympics, Raisman and Biles plan to go on vacation together to think about their respective futures. Biles will be 23-years-old when the next Summer Olympics take place, older than “Grandma Aly” is now. Raisman will be 26 by the time the Tokyo games roll around. While it’s highly unlikely that Raisman will compete in 2020, there has been plenty of hope for older athletes in these games. When you consider Uzbekistan trotted out 41-year-old Oksana Chusovitina – that’s when you start thinking that age truly is just a number.
“I feel really good at 22 and I can’t wait to see what is to come,” Raisman told Reuters.
Next to Raisman was Biles, who quickly asked, “2020?”
Decisions to follow.