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Olympic Gold Medalist Aly Raisman Headlines Fall Speaker Series

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Five-time Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman, who captained the United States to victory in both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic games, headlines the New York State Writers Institute Speaker Series at the University at Albany for the Fall 2018 semester.

Raisman, who has also been a strong advocate against the abuse of former USA gymnastics coach Larry Nassar, will be at SEFCU Arena on December 3 to talk about her life experiences and her new book “Fierce: How Competing for Myself Changed Everything,” an inspiring story of dedication, perseverance and having a positive outlook even in the toughest times.

A New York Times bestseller, Raisman’s Fierce was also named an Entertainment Weekly Best Young Adult Book of 2017.

“Aly Raisman is fierce in every sense of the word,” social rights activist and 12x Grand Slam Singles champion Billie Jean King said. “Her story is one of persistence, hardship, triumph and leadership and Fierce is both inspiring and illuminating.”

A native of Needham, Massachusetts, Aly’s love for gymnastics can be traced back to a “mommy & me” gymnastics class she took as an 18-month-old. Raisman is a leader on and off the floor, and a fierce advocate for body positivity.

On October 10, the NYWI will also feature rapper, activist and writer Mona Haydar as well as Olympic fencer/memoirist Ibtihaj Muhammad — the first hijab-wearing Muslim United States Olympian — for a program titled “Muslim Women in 21st Century America.”

The special event will take place at Recital Hall in the Performing Arts Center on the Uptown Campus.


Rob "Lep" Lepelstat is the sports editor of the Albany Student Press. Along with the ASP, Lep works as Vice President of ATV and sports director for WCDB. He's also had internships at CBS/ Westwood One Sports, ABC Television in NYC, ESPN Radio Albany, etc.