Raisman's 'Quest for Gold' premiers July 9


Raisman's 'Quest for Gold' premiers July 9

On June 27, 2012 Aly Raisman lost control.

"I was hyperventilating," the Needham, Mass. native said. "I couldn't breathe. I didn't think I'd get this emotional about it. Right when the meet finished I started crying."

A nakedly honest moment from a usually stoic competitor. But you'll have to forgive her; Raisman had just won a spot on the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team.

"I'm so honored and so excited," she gushed at San Jose's trials. "It feels like a dream right now. I can't even wait. I'm so honored."

The emotion is as rare as it was raw.

For the last nine months, since Raisman led a short-handed USA gymnastics team to gold at Tokyo's world championships, the 18-year old has appeared a remarkable study in composure. On the floor, the beam, the vault, she is "The Rock" -- even unweathered by the human element.

But Raisman will be exposed soon enough.

On July 9, "Quest for Gold: Aly Raisman" will premier on Comcast SportsNet New England. The documentary, cut from over 120 hours of film, will air in three parts over three days.

Some of the storyline might be familiar.

Comcast SportsNet New England special projects producer and filmmaker Torey Champagne captured Raisman's recent, public ascent: from her toil through amateur status, to her world championships heroism, to June's shining climax at the Olympic trials.

"Gymnastics definitely forces me to grow up and be more mature just because I am dealing with so many emotions," Raisman told the Champagne. "One minute I'm happy, and the next if you fall on a turn your upset so you really have to grow up and suck it up and know what you want in the sport."

Thing is, the falls are few as far as anyone knows.

Part of Raisman's renown is how consistent she is -- steady on the balance beam and vault, clean in her floor routines. "Quest for Gold" is the first look at her battles in the gym.

It's the first time she's really vulnerable.

When Raisman surrendered nine months of her life to the camera, she presented a fascinating dichotomy of all-American teenager and world-class athlete. And the focus gets extremely tight.

"I guess it's weird to say I've gotten used to having a camera around me, just because I am 18-years old," she said. "To be able to have been a part of so many cool and amazing opportunities . . . I've already been able to accomplish so many goals of mine."

Raisman has one major hope ahead -- capturing Olympic gold -- and she'll compete for it soon enough. But it's the way her journey to London unfolded that is so captivating, her command that is so impressive.

An 18-year old "Rock" ready to stand against the world.

Two more Pastrnak goals pull him into tie for NHL lead with Crosby

Two more Pastrnak goals pull him into tie for NHL lead with Crosby

BOSTON – While the loss to the Avalanche on Thursday night was a monumental dud, it put another dazzling display on the hockey resume of David Pastrnak. 

The 20-year-old star right winger scored two more goals in the 4-2 loss at TD Garden and nearly brought the Bruins back into the game by himself before another defensive breakdown at the end of the second period doomed them. 

Instead, Pastrnak had to settle with being the proud owner of 18 goals scored in 23 games that places him in a tie with NHL superstar Sidney Crosby for the NHL lead in goals. 

The goals also showed his wide range of lethal offensive skills. On the first score, he just broke away from the Avalanche defense and managed to bury a second-effort breakaway chance after a nice Tim Schaller stretch pass off the boards. The second goal was a straight one-timer bomb from the high slot off a slick setup pass from Brad Marchand in the corner, and it had the Bruins right back into the mix after a dreadful first period. 

It wasn’t enough when the B’s defense faltered again toward the end of the second period, but it was enough for everybody to be singing Pastrnak’s praises once again following the loss. 

“He’s a game changer. The momentum is going the other way, and he has the ability to break away on any given shift and score a big goal for us. He did that tonight,” said Torey Krug. “We can’t just keep relying on the same guys to score goals. We’ve got to come up with secondary offense, and I know every other guy wants to do that. 

“Now it’s about showing that on the ice and making sure we’re doing the work and getting better and proving to ourselves. But Pasta [David Pastrnak] has been great for us so far, and we’re obviously lucky to have him.”

The 18 goals barely two months into the season are not too shabby for a kid, in his third NHL season, who just now coming into his own. He’s nearly halfway to 40 before Christmas. For Pastrnak, however, it’s about the team result and he wasn’t overly satisfied with his two goals in a losing effort. 

“I’ve said before the season that our goal is to make the playoffs and to have that experience and have the chance to win the Stanley Cup. I’m still focusing on that,” said Pastrnak, who has yet to experience the Stanley Cup playoffs in his two-plus seasons with the Black and Gold. “We have zero points from tonight’s game and we have to move on. I think our game gets better in the second and third periods, you know, and we have to regroup and get ready for Saturday’s game.”

The Bruins will undoubtedly regroup and once again count on another Pastrnak offensive explosion to help lead the way in what’s become a truly spectacular season for the youngster. 

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer.  And…

US ambassador to Japan?

Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.

The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons. 

Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, according to WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. 

Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.