And you thought your kid’s soccer games were stressful. From Aly Raisman’s intensely focused ‘rents to Michael Phelps’s enthusiastic mom, see how these Olympic parents handle the pressure.
Aly Raisman’s Parents Bring It
What's more stressful than competing in the Olympics? Watching your offspring compete, of course. U.S. gymnast Aly Raisman’s insanely nervous parents prove it in this viral clip from her 2012 London Olympics bar routine.
John Orozco’s Mom Just Can’t Watch
When the going gets tough—just cover your eyes! That’s what U.S. gymnast John Orozco’s mom does. She’s even been known to leave the arena when the anxiety level gets too high. She managed to stay in her seat last Saturday during her son’s pommel horse routine, though from the looks of this clip, it wasn’t easy!
Michael Phelps’s Mom Takes the Gold in Cheering
Who knew anxiety-ridden parents could be so funny? Debbie Phelps, one of the most memorable characters from the 2008 Beijing games, made a name for herself not only as swim star Michael Phelps’s mom, but as a clenched-fist fan hollering from the stands. Watch as her anxiety turns to elation with her son’s 8th gold-medal win.
Wieber the Believer
Gymnast Jordyn Wieber’s mother has found a pious way to channel her nerves: clutching a rosary. With the U.S. women’s gymnastics team up for the gold on this past Tuesday, Wieber’s said a little prayer for Jordyn while she performed her routine.
Chad Le Clos’s Proud Papa
Parental jitters-turned-joy make for excellent television. After South Africa’s Chad Le Clos won gold in the men’s 200-meter butterfly this week, his ecstatic father sat down with the BBC for an interview. Lucky for us, he was so overcome with pride, the resulting conversation was, well, “unbelievable.”
Derek Redmond’s Dad's Heroic Support
Though all parents of Olympians must be invested in their children’s lives, Derek Redmond’s father brought a whole new meaning to the term “hands-on parent” at the 1992 Olympics. When Derek injured his hamstring only seconds into a race, Redmond stormed the track to help his son off the ground, supporting him as he limped over the finish line.