At 22 years old, Needham’s Aly Raisman is the oldest athlete on the United State’s Olympic Gymnastics Team, and someone her fellow “Final Five” teammates have looked up to.
After she won silver in the individual all-around final Thursday, Raisman was swarmed by her fellow gymnasts. Before her win that night, her youngest teammates, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian, also showed their support with aheartfelt, hand-written noteleft in her Olympic Village room and latershared by Raisman on Twitter.
Hernandez, 16, and Kocian, 19, wrote that they’ve looked up to Raisman “from the beginning” of their gymnastic careers, calling her “Mama Aly.” Raisman also wrote that she received the “sweetest text” from 20-year-old teammate Gabby Douglas.
Raisman has also received the nickname “Grandma Aly,” because of how her temperament varies compared to the energetic, “crazy” 19-year-old Simone Biles, who Raisman calls “Baby Simone.”
“She’s like our sleeping little grandma,” Biles said in a video for NBC . “She’ll text me at 9:50, ‘Simone, be quiet!’ because she can hear us through the walls… So I’m like, ‘OK, grandma, go to bed.’”
Biles received the gold medal in the individual all-around final. Raisman also posted a photo of her and Biles with their medals to Instagram, with the caption “WE DID IT!!!”