Photo Credit: BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images; NBC
In major Olympic drama Sunday, U.S. gymnast Aly Raisman shut out defending world champion Jordyn Wieber from the all-around finals – and the two are on the same team. (Plus, they’re reported to be best friends!)
Meanwhile, in the bleachers, the parents of the 18-year-old Raisman were reacting to her bar routine and being her biggest, squirmiest fans.
NBC trained its cameras on the pair, while Raisman’s mom squinted her eyes and leaned violently forward and back, left and right in her chair, all while chanting, “Let’s go, let’s go, come on, come on!” Her dad winced and joined in the rhythmic leaning, matched to the feats their daughter performed on the bar as if it could control her fate.
Watch the video from NBC Olympics
In the dramatic finale, both pleaded, “Stick it, stick it!” And stick it the gymnast did. Raisman’s mother appeared to utter an expletive of relief, while her dad shouted with his mouth agape.
While their reactions might just have been within the realm of normal for devoted parents anywhere, some viewers suggested it was a little much. All I know is that if it were me in London -- watching my 18-year-old daughter compete on an international stage at the Olympics, people -- I am quite sure that I'd be freaking out too. How could you not?
Whatever you think of their behavior in the stands, there’s no question that the Raismans have a lot to celebrate this week.
Alesandra Dubin is a Los Angeles-based writer. Follow her on Twitter: @alicedubin.