Dishing on Team USA’s gold medal gymnastics win, Maroney, 20, recreated the expression she made while accepting a silver medal for her vault performance at the 2012 London Olympics.
At the time, the gymnast, who is now launching a pop singing career, didn’t appreciate the Internet’s interpretation of her expression, but now, she admitted to TMZ Sports, she finds it “hilarious.”
She continued, “They’re amazing. I now see why people thought it was so funny.”
Still, she’s happy there’s a new meme on the block, thanks to Michael Phelps‘ #PhelpsFace. “Somebody tweeted me, like, ‘McKayla, looks like somebody took your spot!’ and I was like, ‘What!?'” she told TMZ Sports of seeing the swimmer’s 2016 Rio meme for the first time. “I was like, ‘Yes! Go Michael. Take it away! Please!'”
As Us Weekly previously reported, Phelps, 31, was caught grimacing and snarling at his South African rival, Chad le Clos, who famously snatched gold from the 21-time Olympic gold medalist during the 200-meter butterfly finals in London, before their big semifinal race on Monday, August 8. NBC Sports commentators couldn’t help but laugh at the expression, comparing his angry twitches to those of a “growling dog.” Shortly after, his death stare went viral.
Phelps addressed le Clos’ pregame tactics after the semifinal heat for the men’s 200m butterfly, saying, “Everyone has their own race strategy. If that’s his, that’s his.”