12 of the most memorable family reactions at Olympic events through the years

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Preview of Aly Raisman and her parents at the 2012 London Olympics.
Former Team USA gymnast Aly Raisman (center) and her parents, Lynn and Rick Raisman, pictured in the stands at the 2012 London Olympics. Kansas City Star/Getty Images; NBC
  • The Tokyo Olympics are being held without spectators in the crowds.

  • But in the past, Olympians' family members often went viral with their reactions in the stands.

  • Micheal Phelps' mom looked shocked when she realized her son placed second, not first, in 2012; and Aly Raisman's parents had a viral reaction to her Olympic uneven bars routine.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Aly Raisman's parents were a bundle of nerves when she competed during the 2012 London Olympics.

While former Team USA gymnast and Olympic medalist Aly Raisman looked calm and collected during her uneven bar routine at the 2012 London Olympics, her parents were a different story. Rick and Lynn Raisman couldn't stop squirming as their daughter performed gravity-defying stunts in front of the large audience.

When Aly finished the routine with a near-perfect landing, her parents gave a visible sigh of relief.

During the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016, the Raisman family became a puddle of tears when Aly completed her floor exercise routine.

When Aly completed her final floor routine and snagged the silver medal, she broke down in tears and blew a kiss to the crowd. Her parents, Lynn and Rick, as well as her younger brother, embraced each other in the stands as they appeared to cry joyful tears.

Chloe Kim's father warmed people's hearts when he cheered on his daughter with a homemade sign.

In 2018, Jong-Jin Kim stole the internet's heart for his unwavering support for his daughter, snowboarding phenom Chloe Kim. At the time, Chloe was just 17-years-old and chasing down her dreams at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

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As Chloe competed — and won gold — in the women's snowboard halfpipe event, Jong-Jin was spotted in the crowd with a homemade sign that read, "Go Chloe!"

According to Bleacher Report, Jong-Jin Kim said in an interview with Today that watching his daughter win gold was his "American dream."

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Simone Biles' parents gave a standing ovation and shared a kiss when she finished her floor exercise in 2016.

Team USA gymnast Simone Biles made her Olympic debut in 2016 at the Rio de Janeiro games. When she finished her now-famous floor routine, her parents, Ron and Nellie Biles, exploded from their seats and passionately applauded.

Micheal Phelps' mother looked shocked when she realized her son placed second - not first - during the 200-meter butterfly event at the 2012 Olympics.

Michael Phelps is the most-decorated Olympian in history with 28 medals, but he didn't always win first place. During the 2012 Olympics, Phelps unexpectedly lost to South Africa's Chad Le Clos in the 200-meter butterfly event.

In the stands, his mom, Debbie Phelps, seemed to believe Michael had won the event, and let out an excited yell, Yahoo! Sports reported.

Phelps' two sisters quickly informed their mother that her son had actually placed second, causing her to pause before she began a slightly more subdued celebration, the outlet reported.

Gymnast Danell Leyva's stepfather started dancing on the mat after the USA athlete stuck the landing during a horizontal bar routine.

Coach Yin Alvarez watched in rapt attention as his stepson, Danell Leyva, performed his horizontal bar routine during the 2012 USA Gymnastic trials. Alvarez appeared focused but lost his cool when Leyva nailed a double-twisting double-layout dismount that delighted the crowd, USA Gymnastics reported.

Alvarez pumped both his fists in the air before running alongside the mat and breaking out a few quick dance moves to celebrate.

Leyva later became the 2012 Olympic individual all-around bronze medalist and won two silver medals at the 2016 Olympics.

Michael Phelps' wife turned to her mother-in-law, Debbie Phelps, for a sweet moment after the swimmer completed his final Olympic race in 2016.

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Michael Phelps' final Olympic race was the men's 4x100m medley relay final during the 2016 Olympics.

When Team USA clinched the gold medal, his wife, Nicole Johnson, started crying and hugged Boomer, her first child with the Olympian. The swimmer's mother, Debbie, noticed Johnson and appeared to soothe her as fans in the stadium cheered around them.

Synchronized diving medalist Steele Johnson's dad, Bill, had a heartwarming reaction to his son's performance at the US Olympic trials in 2016.

After one of his dives during the 2016 Summer Games, Steele Johnson's dad, Bill, pointed to his son and exclaimed, "Wow! That's my boy!"

Bill was also captured on camera rooting for his son with an array of colorful catchphrases during the Olympic trials.

"That's a gold medal dive right there," he said, adding: "I mean, the guy is on it tonight! The guy is killing it!"

Judoka Rafaela Silva's family pulled her into the spectator stands after winning Brazil's first gold medal during the 2016 Olympics.

Representing the host country, Brazil's Rafaela Silva competed in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics in Judo. Silva upset Mongolia's Sumiya Dorjsuren in the final match.

Silva approached the spectator stands afterward to see her family, but they pulled her over the railing and brought her into the crowd. The family celebrated together, and nearby audience members tapped Silva in support.

Zara Tindall received a special gift from her mother, Princess Anne, when Great Britain scored silver in the equestrian team event.

Zara Tindall became the first member of the immediate British royal family to win an Olympic medal in 2012. Tindall, who is the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, was part of Great Britain's equestrian team when they won silver medals in the team event.

During the medal ceremony, Tindall received the award from none other than her mother, Princess Anne. Princess Anne placed the medal around Tindall's neck before giving her daughter two quick kisses on the cheek in celebration.

The moment was a special one for the pair because Princess Anne was the first member of the British royal family to compete in the Olympics. She competed in the three-day equestrian event at the Montreal Olympics in 1976.

Other royals like Prince William and Prince Harry cheered from the spectator stands.

Maame Biney's father proved he was her No.1 fan during the 2018 Winter Olympic trials.

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In 2018, Maame Biney became the first African-American woman ever to qualify for the US Olympic speedskating team.

Her father, Kweku Biney, made headlines for the comical handmade signs he brought to her Olympic trials.

One sign read, "Kick Some Hiney Biney," while another sign was chemistry-themed.

Kristin Armstrong's 5-year-old son greeted her at the finish line after she made history during the 2016 Summer Olympics.

When cyclist Kristin Armstrong learned she won a gold medal after crossing the finish line in 2016, she collapsed onto the ground in "exhaustion and joy," Good Morning America reported.

Armstrong had become the first cyclist ever — male or female — to win three consecutive gold medals in the Individual Time Trial. Her victory came after she announced her initial retirement following the 2012 Olympics and had her son, Lucas, NBC Sports reported.

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Armstrong told GMA that Lucas met her at the finish line and tried to comfort her when she teared up.

"I saw my son and started just crying. When I went over for that hug, he in my ear said, 'Mama, why are you crying?'" Armstrong told GMA. "And there was a pause, and he said, 'Didn't you win?' And I said, 'Yeah, I did,' and he said, 'Then why are you crying?'"

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