It’s hard to be the parent of an Olympian; not only do they put in almost as many countless hours preparing for the games as the athletes do, they have to sit by and watch the good and the bad. And, more often than not, they’re caught on camera the whole time. Just ask Aly Raisman’s parents.
With her son so close to breaking a world record to become the most decorated Olympian in history, Michael Phelps’ mom was understandably tense yesterday as he competed in the 200-meter butterfly. As the race drew closer to the finish line, the audience was on their feet cheering, and it looked like Phelps was going to take the gold. But right at the end, he fell slightly behind South African Chad le Clos, and unfortunately, his mother didn’t realize at first that he wasn’t the winner. She broke into a wild cheer and began jumping up and down, only to have someone tell her that Phelps had taken the silver, not the gold.
Although she recovers fairly well from the news–after a deer-in-the-headlights look at the cameras–it’s heartbreaking to see such joy dissolve into such disappointment. And while a silver medal in the Olympics is nothing to sneeze at, the elation that comes with seeing the prize in your hands and being devastated when it’s ripped away is a sad thing to watch.