Figure Skating - Winter Olympics Day 1

Ashley Wagner taking ascent to meme-hood in stride

4 Comments

As soon as she reacted at the 63.10 score she got for her short program in last week’s team competition, U.S. figure skater Ashley Wagner was destined to be Sochi’s answer to McKayla Maroney.

It didn’t take long for the Twittersphere and Facebook citizens to turn the two-time U.S. champion into a meme, just like they did two years ago during the London Olympics with Maroney and her “not impressed” expression that she made after claiming silver in the vault.

To her credit, Wagner’s found the meme, in her words, “absolutely hilarious” and “one of the most awesome things that ever happened to me in my life.”

She tweeted this out as well on Valentine’s Day:

“I’m the type of person where what you see is what you get,” Wagner said to the Associated Press. “Maybe I might be a pretty decent figure skater out on the ice, but in the kiss-and-cry, I still haven’t mastered that figure skater attitude where you sit there and smile until the bitter end.”

MORE: Shani Davis – Looks like U.S. speed skating going medal-less

But she didn’t come to Sochi to just be a social media darling. She came here to win a medal.

And as the women’s competition draws closer, she says that she’s been working on the issues that caused her team event short program to be scored as low as it was.

After helping the U.S. earn a team bronze, she and teammate Gracie Gold went to Austria for several training days in advance of their big event, which begins Wednesday.

President Obama to female Olympians: ‘Y’all crushed it’ (video)

Leave a comment

President Barack Obama hosted the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House on Thursday.

Obama opened his speech by saying that he had planned on doing a floor routine with Simone Biles, before ultimately deciding that the room was too crowded. First Lady Michelle Obama interjected to remind the crowd that her husband “can’t touch his toes.”

The President then singled out the athletic accomplishments of Olympians including Biles, Michelle Carter, Simone Manuel, Claressa Shields, Kristin Armstrong, Kim Rhode, Allyson Felix, Brianna Rollins, Nia Ali, Kristi Castlin, Katie Ledecky, Michael Phelps and the men’s and women’s basketball teams.

He also recognized: Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first American to compete in the Olympics wearing a hijab, Sam Kendricks, the U.S. Army reservist who put down his pole and stood at attention when the national anthem started playing, Will Claye, who proposed to U.S. hurdler Queen Harrison after winning an Olympic silver medal, and Abbey D’Agostino, who helped an opponent to her feet after a crash.

“That is exactly what the Olympic spirit and the American spirit should be all about,” Obama said about the sportsmanship of D’Agostino.

The President was particularly enthusiastic about the performance of the female athletes.

“2016 belonged to America’s women Olympians,” Obama said. “Y’all crushed it.”

Watch Obama’s full speech here.

After Obama’s speech, Biles presented him with a surfboard autographed by the Olympians in attendance.

“I’m going to have a lot of time to surf next year,” Obama said.

MORE: Photos of Team USA at the White House

Photos: Team USA at the White House

Twitter: @TeamUSA
Twitter: @TeamUSA
Leave a comment

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama hosted the 2016 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams at the White House on Thursday.

Below are some of the best photos of Team USA from inside the White House: