Yesterday, I didn’t know who the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team were; after last night, not only do I know which girls are besties and which are rivals, but I also know who has the most hilariously intense parents. Last night, NBC aired the team qualifiers; out of the five competitors, only two would go on to the finals. Along with floor routine and vault, we saw the jaw-dropping uneven bars routine. The girls were literally flying through the air.
You know who else was riding a roller coaster of emotion? Aly Raisman‘s parents. NBC was rather sneaky with the cameras at this event, taking advantage of attendees being too wrapped up in the event to notice the cameraman hovering over their shoulder hoping to catch some snippets of intimate conversation. In the video above, you can see Aly’s mom watching her daughter with a hawklike intensity, muttering “C’mon Aly” and “Let’s go” over and over and over. (The dad showed his excitement/nerves in his own, silent way.)
Since the video went up, some sites have called the Raismans adorable, others comparing them to stage moms fidgeting in the audience at talent shows, only a thousand times worse. I’m not sure how I feel; initially I laughed at the mom’s facial expression, which looks somewhere between uncomfortable disdain and having to use the bathroom. But how the hell would I react watching my daughter compete for the gold? Oh, and when they simultaneously cringe is so great.
Really, the best thing is to watch the little British girls sitting in front of the Raismans react to their reactions. I swear at the end I saw one of them mouth something wee and British akin to “What the fuck?”