Lynn (left), and Rick Raisman, parents of Alexandra Raisman, recount their excitement watching their daughter's performance during the all-around preliminaries on Sunday. Photo by Michael Madrid/USA TODAY Sports
By Kelly Whiteside
LONDON -- Now that the shock has subsided a bit and the realization that the reigning world champion Jordyn Wieber won't be competing for the all-around title on Thursday, the spotlight firmly falls on U.S. gymnast Aly Raisman.
And her parents.
After NBC focused their cameras on Lynn and Rick during her uneven bar routines, the video clip soon became a YouTube hit. In the stands, they perform her routine, swaying this way and that, cringing, screaming, cheering, all in animated fashion.
"I'm a little horrified right now," Rick said after watching the video during an interview with USA TODAY Sports. "Oh my gosh!"
"It's funny," said Lynn.
"At first we don't want her to know where we are in the stands so we're almost hiding," Rick said.
"It's just one of those moments. It's just so magnified. Every single twist and turn. It's just crazy."
As for their daughter's reaction after she saw the video?
"She thought it was hilarious," Rick said.
This morning @Aly_Raisman tweeted: "I love my parents." She then attached a clip of the video.
The team captain will lead the U.S. on Tuesday as it contends for its first gold medal since 1996.
"I better behave this time," said Rick about the team finals.
Then he laughed. "It's all good."
Tonight, Raisman, team captain and oldest of the gymnasts at 18, will lead the Americans as they hope to win their first team gold medal since Atlanta in 1996. Gabby Douglas, who will join her in the all-around final on Thursday, had the third-best qualifying score.
Wieber was fourth overall but third on her team, and international rules allow for only two team members to advance to the individual final.
Complicating the issue: Raisman and Wieber are best friends. How each responds in the team will determine if they can hold off the Russians, a close second in the qualifying with three of the top nine individuals.
For now, though, this has been Raisman's coming out party. She has been overshadowed by Douglas and Wieberg all year, though she is considered the team's most consistent performer.
"As I was telling people before the Olympics, she's a different gymnast now," said Dominique Dawes, a member of the 1996 team and here as an analyst for FOX Sports.
"She's always been strong on the floor but she has really worked hard and come along in the other events and is doing her best gymnastics, right now. The fact that she did so well and is in the final is not as surprising as some people think."
Turns out it was her parents who were surprised the most, having been caught on camera.