But the 22-year-old is not the only one who feels the pressure. Her parents, Lynn and Rick Raisman, were also on pins and needles throughout the Games, as evidenced by their now-infamous nervous reaction viral video.
In this week’s issue of PEOPLE, Lynn Raisman talks about her reaction – and how it feels to watch her daughter compete.
“I laughed when I saw the video, beacuse I was just so nervous,” she says. “I was probably more nervous than Aly. Our family had always loved the Olympics, long before Aly told me that this was what she wanted to do.”
The U.S. women’s gymnastics team on the cover of PEOPLE: (left to right) Laurie Hernandez, Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, Madison Kocian and Gabby Douglas
“So to have your daughter in the Olympics is absolutely amazing,” Raisman continues, “but there’s a lot of pressure. Everything they’ve worked for for years is now happening, and it all comes down to a few seconds on some pieces of equipment. So it’s really nerve-wracking, because the stakes are just so high!”
For more about the Final Five, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on stands Friday.
Despite the pressure, Raisman says that it’s gratifying to watch her daughter compete. “Her dreams have come true and we got to watch it happen,” she says. “It’s such a unique experience; most parents don’t get to watch their kids’ dreams come true so clearly, but we saw it here in Rio.”
Lynn and Rick Raisman
Source: Lynn Raisman / Twitter
One of the best moments: when Aly’s showstopping floor routine clinched the silver medal in the all-around competition. “I think Aly cried because she really, really wanted it,” says Raisman. “She wanted to do well. She had medaled in something that she wanted so much. It was a wonderful moment for her.”
For more of PEOPLE’s Olympic coverage, pick up our collector’s edition,The Best of the Games, on sale now.
With the Games winding down, what’s next for they gymnasts? “After the girls get back, they’ll have some time, and then they’ll start touring,” says Raisman. “They’re really excited about that. Then they’ll see what the next big adventure is!”