"Stick It! Stick It!"

Aly Raisman's parents squirm dramatically watching their daughter's routine on the uneven bars.

Parents Of Olympians Will Be Given Heart Rate Monitors At The Games This Summer

We can watch their hearts while they’re watching their kids.

There’s no dearth of entertainment to be had at the Olympics. From the lavish opening ceremonies to the lightening-speed races and stunning feats of acrobatics, world-class athletes bringing their A-game is a treat. But sometimes, the most entertaining show of the event is the audience itself. Specifically, watching Olympian’s parents. NBC has noticed how much we love parent-watching, reports Variety, and at this summer’s Olympic Games in Paris, the network will be fitting parents with heart monitors so we can see just how excited they are to watch their babies.

The decision is one of the many audience lures NBC is trying out for the 2024 Olympics, which also includes celebrity hosts and commentator ranging from Kelly Clarkson to Snoop Dogg and real-time streaming on Peacock. When asked whether the heart monitors, which would show parents’ excitement on a truly granular level, would have an on-screen sponsorship, NBC ad-sales executive Dan Lovinger told Variety the possibility was on the table. Apparently, test audiences loved the idea, so it could be lucrative. Of course, whether seeing an excited parent’s heart rate will augment the experience of simply watching their faces and body language remains to be seen in practice.

We get the impulse, though. Honestly, “Parental Watching” could be an event in and of itself. It would certainly be a fan favorite. Whom among us doesn’t still squeal in delight recalling Aly Raisman’s parents, Lynn and Rick, squirming and screaming during her uneven bar routine at the 2012 Games in London? Or when snowboarder Chloe Kim’s dad held up pun-filled signs cheering her on in Pyeongchang.

But as adorable or hilarious as their “in-the-moment” reactions are, the real joy is understanding that while an Olympian’s feats of athleticism are a credit to their determination and abilities, it’s also usually a testament to the parental support that encouraged them to get to an elite level. After all, there are sports parents and then there are Olympic sports parents. Who do you think was taking them to all of those practices, meets, and competitions? And considering the average Olympian is only in their mid-20s (some of them young teens!) many of these world-class athletes still live with their moms and dads.

So whether we see their heart rates at the Games or not, we’ll know their hearts are actually on the field/floor/diving board going for the gold.