Chelsea Raineri was a student-athlete at George Washington University readying for a gymnastics tournament when she got a big surprise in 2019 – from George Washington himself.
It’s unclear if the adrenaline rush occurred before or after the meet, but it had plenty of people in tears as they watched on.
What’s George up to?
The team is lined up, people are in the stands, and GW’s mascot decided to put on a little performance of his own.
An announcer off to the side reminds everyone that it was Valentine’s Day earlier in the week – and it seems George never found a date (though we wonder what happened to Martha!).
He even seems a little broken up about it.
The women look around at each other wondering what the heck is going on. And if we hadn’t seen the title of the video, we’d suspect it was some sort of surprise engagement antics.
In what turns out to be fairly awkward fashion, George is apparently going to find a date amongst the women – and he gets to choose for himself! Interesting strategy.
He makes his pick – and it happens to be Chelsea Raineri.
She’s a little surprised but agrees to play along.
Keeping up the charade
George Washington “woos” Chelsea with a bouquet of roses to start off.
She takes it with surprise, no doubt wondering how this is all going to end.
As George goes back to his bag of surprises, he pulls out a heart-shaped box of chocolates next.
It’s looking like a romantic Valentine’s Day surprise – which seems a little creepy since up until that point it feels like the mascot is going to reveal himself to be her brother.
So let’s just say we’re pretty grateful when the announcer asks George if he has any other nice surprises for Chelsea and he heads off to the side of the stage to beckon in someone who had been waiting at the door.
The big reveal
Standing outside the gymnasium is Sergeant Collin Raineri of the Army Reserves 160th Signal Brigade. He’s there to surprise his little sister after having been away for an entire year serving in Kuwait.
We can all breathe easy knowing that there’s nothing creepy going on between George Washington and Chelsea – it was all a setup.
But we weren’t alone in thinking this might get weird:
“Yeah, i was pretty freaked out when they said that George was looking for a date bc i think like 99% of everyone else, i thought that it was her brother under the mask,” joked a commenter.
Now, with a giant teddy bear in hand, Sergeant Raineri walks into the gym, looking a little nervous. After all, it’s hard to pull off elaborate surprises – and you never know how someone is going to react!
Of course, Chelsea is thrilled to see her big brother.
There are plenty of tears as it all hits her and she sees her sibling for the first time in 12 months.
She gives her brother a big hug – and we think it looks like she’s relieved to see him home safe. Most of us don’t realize how much military families worry about their deployed loved ones.
As the bear hug goes on, even George Washington is touched by the scene.
Be sure to scroll down below to see their sweet reunion.
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