Jewish gymnast and gold medalist Aly Raisman joins ‘Dancing with the Stars’

Click photo to download. Caption: President Barack Obama talks with members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic gymnastics teams in the Oval Office, Nov. 15, 2012. Pictured, from left, are: Steven Gluckstein, Savannah Vinsant, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Steve Penny, USA Gymnastics President, McKayla Maroney, Kyla Ross, and Jordyn Wieber. Credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza via Wikimedia Commons.

( Aly Raisman, the teenage U.S. gymnast and winner of three medals at the 2012 summer Olympic games in London, will join the new celebrity cast of the ABC ballroom dancing reality show “Dancing with the Stars.” The cast of the show’s 16th season was announced on “Good Morning America” Feb. 26., and the new show begins March 19. Raisman will dance with professional dancer Mark Ballas.

The Jewish gymnast won a gold medal at the 2012 Olympics for a floor routine performed to the Jewish classic “Hava Nagila.” As controversy erupted in London over whether to hold an official moment of silence for the 11 Israeli Olympians killed by Palestinian terrorists during the 1972 Munich Games, 40 years afterthat attack, Raisman also notably supported holding the moment.

When the Raisman family first learned of the gymnast’s participation in “Dancing with the Stars,” before it was publically announced, “They were so excited! My dad was really funny, he was crying on the phone!” Raisman told the omg! celebrity news website Feb. 28.

Raisman, 18, is already rehearsing for the show. Ballas has “been picking up on some things that I’m good at and some things I need to work on,” Raisman said.

“Everyone thinks because I’m a gymnast it will be easy, but it’s actually the complete opposite,” she said.

Posted on March 1, 2013 .