updated 05/14/2013 AT 5:30 PM ET
•originally published 05/14/2013 AT 1:35 PM ET
The once shy Olympic gymnast, 18, was ever the giddy competitor backstage after Monday night’s Dancing with the Stars.
“I’ve just been having so much fun that I don’t think I’m being interviewed right now or I’m on TV,” Raisman – who admitted she was previously nervous to interact with reporters – told PEOPLE. “It’s just been such an amazing experience. I just feel like a new person. I know I keep saying this, but I’ve never had this much fun in my life, so it’s been really awesome.”
Letting loose with laughter, the athlete went on to say, “I like this new Aly – Wooo! Well, actually, no, when I’m in gymnastics, I like the old Aly because I have to be very focused, but here, it’s just all about having fun! Yeah! Yeah!”
With her partner by her side, jokingly telling her to shush, Raisman said, “[Mark] has to deal with me all the time. Yeah! Woo hoo!”