Brazilian Olympic Bronze Swimmer Brings Iconic Meme to Life

    • Brazilian swimmer Bruno Fratus gained attention online after recreating an iconic 2020 meme.
    • He happily celebrated his bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
    • as in the meme, fratus bit his medal, kissed his wife and raised his fists in celebration behind the less animated silver and gold medalists.

    as swimmer caeleb dressel finished the men’s 50m freestyle and claimed his fourth tokyo 2020 olympics gold medal, another athlete wallowed in the water beside him, joy on his face as he lifted fists in the air.

    bruno fratus was ecstatic. he didn’t mind finishing third: the Brazilian was happy to have finally won his first Olympic medal. Although well decorated in other swimming competitions, he missed out on an Olympic award at the Rio and London Games.

    Reading: Brazil bronze medal meme

    At 32, Fratus is the oldest Olympic swimmer to win his first medal, according to swimswam magazine.

    His jubilant Monday celebration drew attention for its near-accurate recreation of an iconic meme.

    Known as “third place” or “bronze medal,” the meme shows a man biting into a medal, making a face at onlookers, kissing the woman who gave him the award, and angrily spraying champagne, only to let the final frame reveal that he came in third place. it has been widely used to make fun of situations where people celebrate their seemingly mediocre achievements.

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    a side by side comparison on twitter captured fratus doing several of these things. the photos show the swimmer fervently biting his bronze medal and kissing his wife (who is also his coach) in an identical pose.

    most notably, he is visibly more excited than gold medal winner and silver medalist florent manaudou of france.

    “seeing how difficult it is to be an athlete in brazil, you understand his happiness even more. we are very proud of him and everyone who came to tokyo”, wrote a twitter user in reaction to the comparison of the meme.

    “meme status: legendary,” said another.

    fratus told insider in an email that he had seen the meme before, but wasn’t thinking about it when he celebrated his medal.

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    “The resemblance is purely coincidental and I honestly love it,” she wrote.

    “it feels amazing to fulfill a childhood dream. being on the olympic podium is what every young athlete envisions and i’m glad i can have my olympic breakthrough in tokyo,” added fratus.

    According to contributor site knowyourmeme, the meme originated from a comic created in 2020 by a Russian cartoonist, who titled it “never give up!”. the comic circulated on reddit and imgur before edited versions began to emerge as a template for memes involving anything from christopher columbus to star wars.

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