Just as it was the case with previous Olympic games, the stars of London 2012 are stretching the 15 minutes of fame typical of the aftermath of these kinds of quadrennial events. However, this time it seems the athletes’ popularity is increasing – not fading – as the audience leaves the 2012 Olympics in the rearview mirror.
Take American gymnast McKayla Maroney who, after failing to conquer gold, became an internet sensation thanks to the “not impressed” meme that placed her famous medal ceremony picture on everything from NASA’s Curiosity rover to Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.
Maroney, along with America’s “Fab Five” golden Olympic gymnastics team, were at Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report with Stephen Colbert, where they continued their post London 2012 media blitz pretending they were Colbert’s summer interns. And Despite Gabby Douglas and the other gymnasts’ bubbly personalities, it was Maroney who stole the show with their signature “not impressed” scowl.
McKayla’s famous face also caught Hollywood’s eye, as her image was used to promote ABC’s comedy Happy Endings. In a lively set of photos promoting actor and comedian Adam Pally, the image of Maroney's worldwide display of self-disappointment was superimposed onto a hilarious exhibit of the show’s still photographs. Another “lame” program McKayla is obviously “not impressed” with.
Similarly, swimmer Ryan Lochte is thinking about trading the Speedo and goggles for scripts and red carpets. Michael Phelps' nemesis will appear in an episode of CBS’s 90210 to be aired on October 29. The swimmer also played himself in a comedy sketch about ticket scalping on Funny or Die.
On the other side of the pond, 18-year-old diver super star Tom Daley – the Justin Bieber of Britain – is causing furor among legions of rabid fans who are willing to camp overnight for the chance to get a glimpse of the bronze medalist and – perhaps – have the diver and author’s book My Story autographed by the legend. Daley is already being compared to Brit pop icon David Beckham, as he has seen hanging with the superstar footballer -- while receiving tweets and from the likes of One Direction.