September 26, 2021

Swimming coach’s wild reaction to Olympic win is an instant-classic meme

20-year-old Australian swimmer Ariarne Titmus is making her mark at her first ever Olympics on Monday, beating out American champ Katie Ledecky to take gold in the women’s 400 metre freestyle final.

Titmus, whose nickname is “Arnie”, smashed her personal best time in the race, at 3:56.69, ahead of Ledecky’s 3:57.36. Ledecky put up a real fight, with the final lap a genuinely thrilling neck-and-neck push towards the wall.

But Titmus’ incredible win also gave viewers — and the internet — another indelible moment: the sight of her coach, Dean Boxall, going positively hog wild with GIFable joy up in the stands.

Absolutely hooting and hollering.

NBC’s commentary team noted a resemblance to Back to the Future‘s Doc Brown.

This moment of joy and vindication is an clear instant classic reaction that will live on on the internet for years to come. It distils the essence of so many iconic sports GIFs: Vince McMahon leaning back in his chair (yes, WWE counts, don’t @ me), Rob Ryan fist-pumping, the Buckle Up Baby hockey kid. It’s all of those in one. Boxall is clearly ready to tear the stadium to pieces with his bare hands, fuelled only by pure adrenaline and pride.

While we cannot endorse ripping your mask off to scream in the middle of a pandemic, air-humping barriers, or terrifying poor facilities staffers who were clearly not warned about how Australian men react to winning at sport, we can all recognise and relate to a moment of long-awaited triumph.

Hail to the camera operators who spotted and recorded this moment for posterity. And here’s hoping Boxall shouts that poor usher a drink once he’s out of Ultimate Warrior mode.

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