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.

Report: Patriots fill open roster spot with former Browns DL Hughes


Report: Patriots fill open roster spot with former Browns DL Hughes

The Patriots opened a roster spot by waiving defensive tackle Anthony Johnson, but they won't be adding a quarterback to take his place. 

According to Field Yates of ESPN, the team has swapped one defensive tackle for another by adding former Browns big man John Hughes, a 6-foot-2, 320-pounder who played under former assistant to the Patriots coaching staff Mike Lombardi when Lombardi was Cleveland's general manager in 2013. 

Hughes was released last week after spending just over four years with the team that drafted him in the third round in 2012. He signed a four-year extension with the Browns last season that was worth $12.8 million. 

With the Patriots, Hughes figures to work in as part of the rotation on the interior of the defensive line along with Malcom Brown, Alan Branch and rookie third-round pick Vincent Valentine. Unlike Johnson, who was more of a penetrating pass-rusher, Hughes should factor in as more of a space-eating type. He has 5.5 career sacks in 53 games. 

Johnson is the latest in a long line of Browns who played under Lombardi to end up in New England. The two most notable Patriots who spent 2013 in Cleveland are defensive end Jabaal Sheard and running back Dion Lewis. Linebacker Barkevious Mingo, who arrived in New England in a trade this summer, was drafted by Lombardi's front office as the No. 6 overall pick in 2013.

Isaiah Thomas: 'I didn't think Boston would be this cool when I came'


Isaiah Thomas: 'I didn't think Boston would be this cool when I came'

Mike Gorman and Brian Scalabrine sit-down with Celtics All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas to talk about the high expectations for the season, the addition of Al Horford, and getting married this offseason.

Also, Kyle Draper and A. Sherrod Blakely talk about Thomas, including his very team friendly deal will ever become an issue.

Look for new podcast versions of our media day interviews in the coming days, plus videos and other content as the Celtics get ready for the season.