Aly Raisman is making quite an impression—and she hasn't even started competing yet.
The 18-year-old gymnast from Needham has already been the subject of , including a produced by Comcast SportsNet New England, and now she and her teammates are featured on the cover of the latest Sports Illustrated Issue.
"America's Games Changers: Five Stars" reads the cover, which shows Raisman posing on top of a balance beam alongside fellow U.S. Women's Gymnastics Team members Jordyn Wieber, Gabby Douglas, Kyla Ross and McKayla Maroney. The Olympics Preview issue hit newsstands on Wednesday, July 18.
According to an article posted on the Comcast SportsNet New England website, csnne.com, the issue is the first ever Sports Illustrated cover to feature the entire U.S. Gymnastics Team and the first to feature any gymnast since Olympian Kerri Strug graced the cover in a Year in Pictures issue in December 1996.
The magazine cover was the topic of conversation on Twitter thoughout the day, as Raisman fans spread the word about the exciting milestone.
Fans also Tweeted well wishes to Raisman and her team, who were reportedly en route to England.
"Safe travels to @McKaylaMaroney, @kyla_ross96, @gabrielledoug, @jordyn_wieber & @Aly_Raisman:)," one Twitter user wrote. "Soak in every moment of the Olympic Games <3."
A Twitter post from Raisman at 2:25 p.m. said simply: "LONDON BOUND."
Raisman returned to Needham briefly after earning a spot on the Olympics team earlier this month, at the Needham Exchange Club's event on July 3 before greeting a crowd of fans on Memorial Field and signing autographs.
The women's gymnastics events are scheduled to begin on Sunday, July 29 with qualifications, starting at 9:30 a.m. London time, according to the Olympics website, london2012.com.