Press Release


Olympian Aly Raisman to Headline SHAPE America’s National Convention & Expo in Boston

RESTON, VA, February 22, 2017 — American gymnast and two-time Olympian Aly Raisman, who believes it is important to value everyone for what is in their heart and not the size of their jeans, will headline the 132nd National Convention & Expo of SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators, on Thursday, March 16, 2017, in Boston. Raisman's appearance is made possible by Reebok and BOKS.

Happiness is her secret weapon when it comes to loving herself. "When I'm happy, it doesn't matter what other people think. What matters is that you look at yourself in the mirror and are happy with who you are as a person. If you're a kind person, that's far more important than being a certain size or number on the scale," she says. "If children feel valuable, they will treat themselves like someone who has great worth. Health and happiness will be what they strive for instead of an unrealistic, airbrushed image."  

Raisman will participate in an important discussion titled, "We Can't Sit Still: Why Movement Matters to Our Children, Especially in Our Schools." She will be joined by John Ratey, M.D. of Harvard Medical School and Dr. Peter Sanchioni, superintendent of Natick Public Schools (MA). The discussion will be moderated by BOKS, Build Our Kids Success Founder & Executive Director Kathleen Tullie and will focus on the growing importance of why 60 minutes of daily physical education and physical activity should be mandatory in all schools; the scientific link between exercise and academics; and how one school district took action by empowering school teachers, parents and other active community members to help bring a before-school physical activity program to its students.

According to SHAPE America President Jackie Lund of Georgia State University, "With her focus on good health and happiness, Aly Raisman is an inspiring role model for all. We are delighted that Aly will be sharing her insights with health and physical education teachers who empower students to live healthy and physically active lives." 

Aly Raisman is a two-time team captain of the gold medal winning U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Teams in 2012 and 2016. The most decorated U.S. gymnast at the 2012 Games and first American gymnast to win gold in the floor exercise, Raisman stole the hearts of millions during her silver medal performance in the All-Around competition at the 2016 Games. The second most decorated American gymnast of all-time with six total Olympic medals, Raisman is one of two U.S. gymnasts to make back-to-back Olympic teams in more than 15 years.

A native of Needham, Massachusetts, Raisman is the oldest of four siblings and started gymnastics at 18 months old with her mother during mommy and me classes. A leader both in and out of the sport, she's an advocate for positive body image and empowering everyone to be comfortable and confident in their own skin. 

More than 4,000 health and physical education teachers, researchers and other physical activity professionals are expected to attend the convention, which is the largest event of its kind in the country. The convention, which will take place March 14-18, is held in partnership with SHAPE America Eastern District and the Massachusetts Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD).

For more information about SHAPE America's National Convention & Expo, visit the website and follow #SHAPEBoston.


About SHAPE America
SHAPE America - Society of Health and Physical Educators is committed to ensuring all children have the opportunity to lead healthy, physically active lives. As the nation's largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals, SHAPE America works with its 50 state affiliates and national partners to support initiatives such as the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, Let's Move! Active Schools and the Jump Rope For Heart/Hoops For Heart programs.

Since its founding in 1885, the organization has defined excellence in physical education, and our resources provide the leadership, professional development and advocacy that support health and physical educators at every level - from preschool to university graduate programs. For more information, visit

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