Raisman parents give show on side-lines

  • 1-Milner Jack
In many cases the reactions of parents watching their children play sport is more fascinating than the actions of the players themselves.
by JACK MILNER | Aug 10, 2016

Any tennis fans will know about the antics of Judy Murray, mother of Andy and Jaimie, and her behaviour may brought more members to the anti-Andy fan club than Murray’s own on-course antics.

When Jennifer Capriati was still a teenager her mother and father, Denise and Stefano, would attend all of her media conferences and after Jennifer had come and gone, they were available for questions. They seemed to enjoy the tennis circuit more than their daughter did.

The same could also be said of Chad le Clos’ dad, Bert, who was the toast of the media at the London Olympics.  

Now it is the turn of Aly Raisman, US women’s gymnastic team member and her parents. The body language and facial expressions of Aly’s mother prompted a storm on social media on Monday.

Videos and photos circulating on Twitter show Lynn Raisman hysterically reacting to her daughter competing at the Olympic Games in Rio. Father Rick is only marginally better.

The Raisman’s reactions to their daughter were deemed “gold medal worthy” by a news station in Houston, Texas, and the UK’s Daily Mail joked that the couple “make spectating its own event”.

One Twitter user said Lynn “makes most Jewish mothers look like the Buddha”. Another wrote: “Omg @Aly_Raisman’s mom watching her perform is so cute!!!”

Other tweets included: “Aly Raisman’s parents watching her uneven bars routine is my favourite Olympic sport” and “I love watching Aly Raisman’s parents watch her compete”.

At several moments during Raisman’s competition, Lynn and Rick can be seen leaning back in their seats, which inspired NBC to tweet: “@Aly Raisman’s parents are back at it again with the shoulder lean!” and “All aboard the Raisman Roller Coaster of Emotions”.

Their “shoulder leans” spurred one Twitter user to quip: “My stress level on the first day of school: aly raisman’s parents during her uneven bar routine.”

Aly joined in the commentary by re-tweeting a post which asserted that the shoulder lean resembles something parents might do when meeting their son’s girlfriend for the first time.

There is still more women’s gymnastics to come, so keep an eye on the Raismans - they are fun to watch.  

Of course that was not the case with Judy Murray and one may have noticed she rarely gets filmed screaming for her sons these days and when they do focus on her she is either sitting still or clapping politely. Rumour has it that we all have Murray’s coach, Ivan Lendl, to thank for that.

Mrs Murray even tried out Strictly Come Dancing in an attempt to improve her image. Her dancing was appalling but she came across well and apparently brought shortbread to all the rehearsals. 

Many people wonder about Murray’s dad. William and Judy Murray decided to separate when Andy was only 10 - a decision they have described as “difficult”. Andy still sees his father regularly and even once went with him to visit then Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street after his first Wimbledon win.

Many people also do not know that the two Murray children were pupils at Dunblane Primary School, Stirling, when gunman Thomas Hamilton opened fire on a gym class on March 13, 1996. The two hid under a desk while the gunman killed 16 children and their teacher, Gwen Mayor.

The brothers have previously spoken about how they have found it difficult to relive the terrible events and it is only recently that Andy chose to speak about it.    

This year, on the 20th anniversary of the massacre, he posted a picture of the Dunblane coat of arms on his Facebook page with a heart emoji and the message: "Always in my thoughts. Take you with me everywhere I go. Always my home."

The Murray brothers have been praised for creating a positive story for Dunblane through their tennis success and Andy told a BBC documentary in 2013 it is "nice that I have been able to do something that the town is proud of".   



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