The families of Olympians put in perhaps more time and make more sacrifices than the Olympic athletes themselves. Raising an Olympian is no easy feat, and it isn’t for the faint of heart. Parents, siblings, and grandparents all put in endless hours of dedication and support for their athletes.
They see them through to the very day of competition and squirm with anguish (see Aly Raisman’s parents) as the competition takes place. They feel everything their Olympian feels, including the overwhelming joy of winning a medal.
Many families will never know what it feels like to have their loved one compete on the world’s largest stage, but the family of Australian swimmer Kyle Chalmer, they know the feeling very well. Chalmer’s grandparents were unable to be in Rio to watch his competition in person, but that didn’t stop them from tuning in on their tv to cheer their grandson on.
Watching him compete had them on the edge, both of their seats and emotions. The culminating moment was when Kyle won the gold medal, and the emotions his grandparents had been repressing flowed free.
Their tears of joy flowed freely as they experienced one of the best feelings in the world; the validation of their efforts for their Olympian.