aly raisman parentsEighteen-year-old gymnast Aly Raisman is representing the United States in the 2012 London Olympics, but one cameraman caught the show her parents put on in the stands. Lynn and Rick Raisman really get into watching their daughter’s performance -- really, really get into it.

I think it’s adorable. I love hearing stories of involved, encouraging parents, and Aly’s are most definitely supportive of her budding athletic career. As the Olympian competed in the team qualifiers today, NBC captured her parents watching with what we’ll call exuberance

Mom Lynn bobs and weaves in her seat, shouting the occasional, “Come on, Aly!” or “You got it, Aly!” to her daughter. Her contortions are reminiscent of the bowler that wills the bowling ball back to the center of the lane when it veers toward the gutter -- as if she could get Aly to “stick it!” by the sheer power of her brain. 

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Dad Rick joins in with the wincing about half way through, and together with his wife, they lean backward and forward in unison, obviously hoping and praying that Aly doesn’t mess up. By the time she’s finishing up, her parents are literally on the edge of their seats, and when she sticks the landing, they both scream, “Yeah!” and dad jumps out of his seat with a triumphant fist pump. Then they both collapse with sighs of relief and dad offers the crowd one last cry of victory. 

I love that the cameraman caught this moment of parenting intensity. I can only imagine how much the Raismans have invested in their daughter’s success -- it takes an incredible amount of time, money, and commitment to raise an Olympian, and now the stakes are even higher for Aly. She made the team, but wasn’t expected to qualify for the all-around. That changed when reigning world champion Jordyn Wieber took a step out of bounds and lost her place to compete in the all-around competition. 

Sad news for Jordyn, but exciting news for Aly, who is obviously no longer overshadowed by the superstar and on track to make a name for herself. No wonder her parents are so intense -- it’s a whole new game now.

Good luck, Aly! I’ll be watching for you ... and your awesome parents.