The 2016 Olympics Thus Far: In Memes

This Olympic season has been pretty incredible and the internet has summed it up damn well. As they do.

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Usain Bolt Manages to be Epic and Cheeky at the Same Time [image source: time.com], crowd ink, crowdink, crowdink.com, crowdink.com.au
Usain Bolt Manages to be Epic and Cheeky at the Same Time [image source: time.com]

Is it just me, or are these Olympics turning out to be a lot more ridiculous than years prior? From algae to mean mugging to sexism to racism to unintentional porn stars, the Internet is making sure that we don’t forget a single moment.

Just in case you’ve missed out on any of the already iconic moments from this year’s games, we’ve summed them up in the best way we know how: memes.

Here are the 7 most important memes thus far from the 2016 Olympics in Rio (and the stories behind them.)

1. Michael Phelps Grills Chad Le Clos

Michael Phelps has the Face On [image source: www.obsev.com], crowd ink, crowdink, crowdink.com, crowdink.com.au
Michael Phelps has the Face On [image source: www.obsev.com]
Here’s the picture that started it all. From comparisons to Kylo Ren to “that face when XXX” tweets, Phelps’ mean mug photo has been in the news for the past few weeks. Initially, the grimace was thought to be directed at Olympic rival, Chad Le Clos, who was standing just out of frame when the pic was snapped. However, Phelps has since commented that he was, “Just listening to music and getting in the zone. The face wasn’t at all directed toward Chad Le Clos.”

2. Divers or Porn Stars?

Tom Daley (US Diver, not Porn Star) [image source: twentytwowords.com], crowd ink, crowdink, crowdink.com, crowdink.com.au
Tom Daley (British Diver, not Porn Star) [image source: twentytwowords.com]
Patrick Hausding (German Diver, not Porn Star) [image source: twentytwowords.com], crowdink, crowd ink, crowdink.com, crowdink.com.au
Patrick Hausding (German Diver, not Porn Star) [image source: twentytwowords.com]
With strategically placed scores by media outlets, the internet quickly realized that quite a few male Olympic divers look a bit like porn stars. We’re not going to comment. We’re just going to leave these here.

3. Usain Bolt’s 100m Olympic Semi-Final and Ellen DeGeneres’ Response

Usain Bolt Manages to be Epic and Cheeky at the Same Time [image source: time.com], crowd ink, crowdink, crowdink.com, crowdink.com.au
Usain Bolt Manages to be Epic and Cheeky at the Same Time [image source: time.com]

So Usain Bolt was insanely fast, is still insanely fast, and an Aussie photographer got photographic proof of it. And then Ellen DeGeneres’ photoshopped herself onto his back and tweeted “This is how I’m running errands from now on.” And it was racist and 70 kinds of messed up.

4. Simone Biles is The First Simone Biles

Simone Biles Being Flawless as Usual (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell), crowd ink, crowdink, crowdink.com, crowdink.com.au
Simone Biles Being Flawless as Usual (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Simone Biles just snagged her fourth Olympic gold medal. She also is the center of some of the most stunning, graceful, and powerful photos we’ve ever laid eyes on. At 19 years old, she was getting a lot of media attention for being the “next Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt.” And she clapped back and set it straight. Images like the one above are popping up with the accompanying quote, “I’m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps. I’m the first Simone Biles.”

5. Gabby Douglas’ Hair

Leave Gabby Alone, Damn. [image source: Twitter], crowd ink, crowdink, crowdink.com, crowdink.com.au
Leave Gabby Alone, Damn.
[image source: Twitter]

The Athletic Prowess of Gabby Douglas [image source: thewire.com], crowd ink, crowdink, crowdink.com, crowdink.com.au

Gabby Douglas just received an Olympic gold medal for the US Women’s Team All-Around. And the Internet was bullying her via Twitter and just about everywhere else about her hair. Are you kidding me, Internet? We need to have a sit-down. Douglas just received an Olympic gold medal. Put your pettiness away, please.

6. The Green Pool

We’ve got to give it to LADBible on this one. The Rio Olympics have been kind of a disaster hygiene-wise, but the Olympic diving pool turning an alarming shade of green had to take the cake for most embarrassing moment for organizers. Also, the entire room apparently smelled like a fart. That’s just not delightful.

7. Her Name is Corey Cogdell, Damn It.

Yet another example of the frankly disgustingly sexist coverage of the Olympics in the mainstream media. In 2016. Thoroughly disappointing, but, again, the internet swooped in to do at least a bit of damage control. Thank you, Internet.

And that’s it! Did we miss any side-splitting or just damn important memes? Comment below and let us know!


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Sam Ferrante is a poet, editor, facilitator, and writer born on Long Island, college-fed in Western New York and Paris, and then poetically raised in Buffalo, NY; Ireland; and Australia. A former member of the Pure Ink Poetry team in Buffalo and a regular competitor in Dublin's Slam Sunday, Sam was a Co-Creative Producer at Melbourne-based Slamalamadingdong in addition to serving on the Melbourne Spoken Word Committee. Sam has been published in Ghost City Press, Blowing Raspberries, and The Dirty Thirty Anthology and has been featured at The Owl & Cat Session, La Mama Poetica, Girls on Key, and White Night 2016 among others. Her debut book of poetry, Pick Me Up, got rave reviews from her Mom. She is currently the Editor of CrowdInk.