Meet The Olympic MADs (erm, Mum And Dads!)

02 August 2012 by

Move over Bradley Wiggins, step aside Ryan Lochte…over the last few days the stars of the Olympic Games have emerged – and you won’t find them in the pool or on the track. Clare Thorp introduces us to the MADS – otherwise known as the athletes’ mums and dads.

The proud parents of the competitors have provided some of our favourite moments of London 2012 so far.  Yes, we were pleased Michael Phelps broke the record for most Olympic medals ever won – but not as pleased as we were to see his proud mum blubbing in the stands. And last night – thanks to one amazing interview – twitter went into meltdown over Bert Le Clos, dad of swimmer and gold medallist Chad.

Then there’s the flipside…if they lose. We pity our parents for putting up with our teenage strops. Imagine what it’s like dealing with a child who had just lost THE BIGGEST EVENT IN THE WORLD, EVER.  This week Pauline Pendleton admitted that when daughter Victoria missed out on a medal at Athens she threw her kit in the bin. ‘I retrieved it to wash and keep as a memento for her,’ said a Pauline. (Here’s hoping Vicks races to victory tomorrow, for Mrs P’s sake.)

Win or Lose, the MADS have been there every step of the way, cheering, crying, sweating, squirming. We think they deserve a little recognition. So here, in true Olympic spirit, we’ve awarded our MAD medals...


GOLD: Bert Le Clos

When Chad Le Clos stole the 200m butterfly Gold from Michael Phelps last night, a new star was born. But minutes later, he’d already been upstaged – by his own Dad. Clare Baldwin grabbed Bert Le Clos for his reaction. It was less an interview, more a snapshot on what it’s like to be the happiest man in the world. Chad, we love you. But we might love your old man even more.

(see his reaction here:


SILVER: Lynn and Rick Raisman

Applause? So dull. Waving a flag in support? So common. As gymnast Aly Raisman jumped and vaulted her way to a team USA victory this week, her parents showed the world their own way of showing their support. Cue an extraordinary display of squirming, gurning,  jumping and er, jerking. Amusing. And slightly terrifying.  


BRONZE: Princess Anne

The royals aren’t known for their shows of emotion, so we were never going to see a sobbing Zara Phillips on the winner’s podium. But even she couldn’t hide her delight when she collected her Silver medal in the Equestrian event this week  - from her very own mum. If we were Princess Anne we might have ‘accidently’ slipped a gold medal over Zara’s head by mistake. But still, a very sweet moment.


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