Barack Obama isn’t just the president of the United States — he also appears capable of wiping the legendary “not impressed” scowl from Olympiс gymnast McKayla Maroney’s mug.
Maroney and her gymnastics teammates met the U.S. president on Thursday, and the White House shared the image on Twitter that evening.
“He was the one who brought it up,” Maroney later told reporters. “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.’”
The gymnast 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.
The image soon went viral, spawning 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.
“I don’t think you can tell somebody, even before, ‘OK, I’m ready for this!’” the gymnast said of the social media sensation that followed after she made her facial expression with all of the world watching.
“The whole world pretty much got obsessed with it,” she continued. “Every single day I get asked by people to do ‘the face,’ so I’m bringing it along with me now for the rest of my life.”
The “face” has become Maroney’s signature, but it’s one thing for fans to ask her about it, and absolutely another when the president does, The Washington Post writes.
“I, like, freaked out,” Maroney said. “He said, ‘Let’s do it together.’ We took a picture and now it’s everywhere.”
The U.S. Olympic team visited the White House earlier this fall, but the Fierce Five was absent as they’re on a 40-city nationwide tour.
However, the show, which ends tomorrow 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 gymnasts had talked to the U.S. president in London, where they became 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 taken to Twitter to tell everybody 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 whether the White House intended to release the photo.
Her father was the first to see the picture 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.”