Rory Riley

Age: 31
Hometown: Auburn, Mass.
Political party: Republican
Relationship status: Single

It was Rory Riley’s passion for helping the disabled that has guided her life.

She enjoyed gymnastics growing up. So, wanting to give back to the sport, she became a Special Olympics coach and is now involved on an international level. Riley coached gymnastics for Team USA at the Special Olympics’ World Games in Athens in 2011 and this fall will be coaching at Florida’s Fall Classic.

In her work as a staff director on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, she deals with disability assistance.

Riley says gymnastics has been invaluable in preserving her physique. Pressed by friends to explain how she keeps her arms so toned, she tells them — seriously —that when bored she walks around on her hands.

The fit 31-year-old credits such vigorous activity for helping counteract her sweet tooth and a particular fondness for Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

Riley says her philosophy on personal health is to maintain a sense of humor and avoid getting too glum.

“One of the problems in D.C. is there’s a lot of people who take themselves too seriously, and when you’re grumpy and frown a lot, it ages you,” she says. “So, I try to smile, laugh and have a good time.”

Though still single, the red-headed Riley says others do not ask her out very frequently on Capitol Hill.

“I’m more likely to be asked for a shot of whisky and a jig-off,” she said, jokingly referencing her pronounced Irish-American heritage.

— Blake Neff

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