When American gymnast McKayla Maroney fell during her vault routine at the Olympics, she missed out on the gold medal, but instead she won the silver and a meme. Which is basically the same thing, right? Spoiler alert: no, no it’s not, but it’s still pretty awesome. A picture of her scowling during the awards ceremony made the rounds of the internet, and has now been added to pretty much every picture possible with the caption ‘McKayla Is Not Impressed’. Everything from Mitt Romney picking Paul Ryan as his vice presidential candidate, Usain Bolt setting a new world record, and NASA celebrating landing the Curiosity rover on Mars. All monumental events. All completely unimpressive to Miss Maroney.
I was actually kind of wondering how McKayla would respond to her picture at the most disappointing moment of her career being disseminated all over the internet. If it was me, I honestly wouldn’t be super thrilled. This girl trained for that moment her whole life, and because of a shitty combination of circumstances, she missed out on the gold medal that she clearly deserved. Was it sportsmanlike that she let her disappointment show on her face in that moment? No, not really. But let’s also not forget that this girl is 16-years old. Even though she’s an Olympian, she’s still a teenager, and I can name lots of teenagers who would be screaming and throwing shit if that happened to them. So even though it was technically an unprofessional moment, I don’t begrudge it to her.
Which is why I thought it was even more awesome when I found out that not only has McKayla accepted the meme, she’s actually kind of embraced it. When she and her Olympic teammates Kyla Ross and Aly Raisman tried to go to the pool and found it closed, she tweeted out a picture of the three of them doing the McKayla scowl with the tag #notimpressed. Yes ladies! Get it! There’s nothing she can do about it now, after the fact, so I’m glad to see her laughing and moving on.
Keep that scowl and your silver medal, McKayla. I think they’ll both serve you well.