WASHINGTON (AP) — Even McKayla Maroney was impressed.
A photo of the Olympic gold medalist gymnast and President Barack Obama doing her now-famous “McKayla Maroney is not impressed” face went viral Saturday after the White House posted it on Twitter. The two took the picture Thursday when Maroney and her Fierce Five teammates visited the White House.
“He was the one who brought it up,” Maroney told The Associated Press. “We were about to leave and he said, ‘I want to talk to you one second about the face.’ He said, ‘I pretty much do that face at least once a day.'”
Maroney was photographed making the half scowl with her nose scrunched up while she was on the medals podium after winning silver on vault at the London Olympics. It spawned dozens of “McKayla Maroney is not impressed” memes — including one showing a photoshopped Maroney in the White House Situation Room on the night Osama Bin Laden was killed.
The “face” has become Maroney’s trademark. But it’s one thing for fans to ask her about it, quite another when the president does.
“I, like, freaked out,” Maroney said. “He said, ‘Let’s do it together.’ We took a picture and now it’s everywhere.”
The entire U.S. Olympic team visited the White House earlier this fall, but the Fierce Five missed it because they’re doing a 40-city nationwide tour. But the show, which ends Sunday in New York, was in Washington on Thursday night, so Maroney, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross and Jordyn Wieber got their own private visit.
The Fierce Five had talked to Obama in London, where they became just the second U.S. women’s team to win the Olympic title, and first since 1996. But it was neat to meet him in person, Maroney said.
“He’s the coolest person I ever met,” she said — which is saying something, considering the Fierce Five have hobnobbed with a Who’s Who of celebrities since London. “He’s got the hardest job in the entire world.”
Maroney had hinted on Twitter that she had done “the face” at the White House, saying, “Did I just do the Not Impressed face with the President.” But she didn’t know when — or even if — the White House was going to release the photo.
Her father saw it first and sent Maroney a text message. It wasn’t long before pretty much everyone was passing it around.
“It’s really funny,” she said. “Because it’s like everywhere.”
Credit: The Associated Press.