No. 9: Gymnast McKayla Maroney is #NotImpressed
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After being heavily favored to win the women’s individual vault at the London Games, U.S. Gymnast McKayla Maroney expressed disappointment with her silver medal performance with a less than enthusiastic smile. “It wasn’t the silver that I was disappointed about,” Maroney said. “I was just disappointed in what happened and how I performed.” Her sour-looking facial expression immediately went viral with memes on Tumblr and its own Twitter hashtag: #NotImpressed. The 16-year-old handled the situation with humor and her second place look has since been worn by many including President Obama as well as her own teammates. Despite her individual disappointment, Maroney returned stateside with an Olympic gold medal along with Jordyn Wieber, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman and Kyla Ross who won the team competition just days earlier. With their successful performance, the ‘Fierce Five’ may go down as the greatest U.S. gymnastics team of all time.
“This moment showed that no matter how much you prepare there are still some things beyond your control. Some people might think that McKayla was ungrateful for her silver medal, but her expression really just showed how she felt when she fell short of her goal. And when the whole world saw how disappointed she was, she handled it with as much grace as possible which sealed the expression as one of the most memorable pop culture moments of the entire year.“
– Kristin Dyer – Programming Assistant