Why did McKayla Maroney make that ‘not impressed’ face at the London Olympics 2012?


Former US artistic gymnast McKayla Maroney etched her name in Olympic history, winning multiple medals at the 2012 London Olympics. The gymnast, who had a short international career, won gold as part of the American team at the 2012 Games. The then teenager also bagged an individual silver medal in the vault event of the tournament.

Having finished second in the event, Maroney’s disappointment was clearly visible. The American gymnast was saddened after she fell short by just over a 10th of a point behind Romania’s Sandra Ibasa. A crestfallen McKayla Maroney infamously made a ‘not impressed’ face at the London Olympics 2012 podium, which went on to become viral.

Post the event, McKayla Maroney became an internet sensation. Maroney’s not-so-happy face was one of the most popular memes on social media at the time. The image continues to be widely used in sports memes even today.

It is possible that the athlete was genuinely saddened to miss out on individual glory after tasting the gold medal as part of the ‘Fierce Five’ team at the same Olympics.

‘McKayla is not impressed’ became a meme

McKayla Maroney’s silver medal-winning performance soon became a talking point. She transformed into a meme, when she could have been the ‘teenager’ who made it big on the world stage. “McKayla is not impressed,” became a popular headline.

It is pertinent to note that Maroney was the overwhelming favorite for gold. Many later came forward to justify the gymnast’s disappointment, pointing out that she could have beaten Romanian Sandra Izbasa in the final.

In a video interview with Inside Gymnastics in 2014, Maroney said that the face she made was “natural.”

“I remember doing the face for literally two seconds. Like, if you watch the video, it’s two seconds. And I remember thinking, ‘Did I just make a face?’ Because it’s natural,” Maroney said.

Furthermore, she went on to state that she makes faces all the time. Maroney laughingly added that she has had multiple pictures of her making such faces. She also shared her disappointment at the results, revealing that she couldn’t sleep for nights after the event.

Olympics Day 4 - Gymnastics - Artistic (Image courtesy: Getty)

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The 26-year-old former gymnast is now involved in multiple projects, including acting. She has so far made guest appearances on popular TV shows like NBC’s Superstore, the Hart of Dixie, Superstore, Up in the air, and Bones.

Maroney has also released a couple of albums and has been highly active on social media. The former gymnast also started a wellness, beauty and mental health page called Glowy.


Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee

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