Contact Us

‘Phelps Face’ Is the Best Meme of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games


Do you watch the 2016 Olympic Games every night, or are you letting newly-minted Olympic correspondent Leslie Jones sum it up for you? If so, you’re missing out on some real feats — such as volleyball suddenly seeming exciting, after watching Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross trounce their competition like a well-oiled machine. But spectating via Twitter does keep one abreast(stroke) of the games’ funniest, most meme-worthy moments: Case in point, the #PhelpsFace incident of August 8.

U.S. champion swimmer Michael Phelps, he of the 23 Olympic medals and 8,000 signature headphones, was waiting to swim in the men’s 200m butterfly semi-finals when it appears he saw something he didn’t like. Or rather, someone he didn’t like: South African swimmer Chad le Clos, who bested Phelps in the category finals in 2012. As le Clos…warmed up? shadowboxed a ghost? in front of him, we, as a nation, were gifted with Phelps’ unwavering glare.

Or maybe Phelps was just listening to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” really loudly on repeat and spacing out as he psyched himself up. He says he was okay with it! That face, though. It was good television.

People definitely reveled in the rivalry. Let no American cultural moment go un-Mean Girlsed.

Soon everyone on Twitter was concocting their own reasons for making #PhelpsFace, from horrible news to petty grievances to frankly tiresome connections to the 2016 presidential race. Apparently cartoonish misery is highly relatable! (Phelps took second place, by the way; le Clos placed fourth).

Check out a roundup of some of our favorites below.

The 2016 Emmy Nominees, Then and Now

Next: The Very Best Songs We Heard This Week

Recommended for You

Best of the Web

Best of PopCrush

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Not a member? Sign up here

Please solve this simple math problem to prove that you are a real person.

Sign up for PopCrush quickly by connecting your Facebook account. It's just as secure and no password to remember!