Olympic wrestler lifts Michelle Obama
July 28th, 2012
12:54 PM ET
9 years ago

Olympic wrestler lifts Michelle Obama

(CNN) - First lady Michelle Obama was in London this weekend to give the U.S. Olympic team a boost, and one of the athletes returned the favor.

When wrestler Elena Pirozhkova met Obama on Friday, she asked, "Can I pick you up?"

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The first lady responded "um, yes," according to an account of the moment posted to the USA Wrestling website.

A fellow U.S. wrestler - Clarissa Chun - captured the moment and tweeted a picture.

The 5-foot-5 Pirozhkova competes in the 63 kilogram (approximately 138 lbs) category, and told USA Today after the hug that she wanted to greet the first lady differently.

"Even before she made the rounds I thought I can't just hug her like everybody else," she said. "I think she was nervous. I went slow. I just picked her up. I wanted to ask her permission. There was security all around. And she gave it. I will only meet her once. I wanted to do something different."

Obama led the presidential delegation to the opening ceremony of the London Games, and she stayed in the city for meetings, events related to her Let's Move! health initiative, and to attend Olympic contests.

Filed under: Michelle Obama • Olympics
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. SillyDance

    Classic Lady!!!! I love Michelle as First Lady and I am sure she is probably a nice person to hang out with.

    July 28, 2012 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. Just a thought

    I love our 1st lady....Now that we've gotten that covered, let the Rush a Druggy Limberger, and Tea-a-tard hatred begin in 5,4,3,2,1....

    July 28, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  3. Lean6

    I'm so glad to have relatable, down to earth, smart people in the White House.

    July 28, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  4. luke,az

    The first lady is wonderful, she is so down to earth. The Obamas desrve a second term for a thousand reasons.

    July 28, 2012 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  5. neil

    That is so cool.What a great first lady Mrs. Obama is.That's all I got.

    July 28, 2012 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  6. ObamaisanASS

    will do anything to divert attention for economy

    July 28, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  7. spenteco

    This is Olympic history! Only a good Democrat can have such fun and help create great memories. The First Lady is just too hip for words.

    July 28, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  8. cb

    Too cool!!

    July 28, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  9. george of the jungle

    classy lady If the queen can jump out of a plane I guess the first lady can handle a pick up. Watch the repos go balistic over this one. Forward 2012

    July 28, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  10. Reggie from LA

    Mmm. Somethin' kinda yummy about that. Bwahaha!!

    July 28, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  11. Keith

    Great story, I don't think ANYONE would want to pick up any member of the Romney tribe, YUK.

    July 28, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  12. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Go Team U.S.A., we're all boosting for you back home.

    July 28, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  13. ronjayaz

    Yes, absolutely. U cudnt do that to the Queen. We are not a monarchy. As long as it wasnt a male wrestler, Im sure President O'Bama (Irish heritage spelling) approved it. The people currently in the White House are real people like the majority of the electorate. Do U really want Rmoney (spelling deliberate= our money-15% taxes v. Buffet's secretary 35%)?

    July 28, 2012 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  14. chuck weidemann

    Who's more in touch???? The answer is the president and first lady!!!! Great moment and this country deserves real people in the white house.

    July 28, 2012 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  15. Ed

    You've got to hand it to both women...no shortage of spunk here!

    July 28, 2012 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  16. 4merRepubCT

    How wonderful for this athlete to have such a priceless memory! And how amazing that we have such a playful and down-to-earth First Lady!

    July 28, 2012 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  17. earledecker

    USA, USA, USA!

    Gotta love Michelle.

    July 28, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  18. T'sah From Virginia

    President Obama and Michelle are so down to earth – GO FLOTUS!!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    July 28, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  19. Brad76

    uh... alrighty.

    July 28, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  20. 0-T

    Grins and giggles today, chiropractic appointment in the morning.

    July 28, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. Marie MD

    Can you imagine if anyone dared to approach, more less touch and picked up the "you people" non working wife?
    She would consider it a slap in the face from someone beneath her.
    This whole family wouldn't know a joke or a real harmless prank if it hit one their car going up an elevator!

    July 28, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  22. foxfire

    She is such a good sport.

    July 28, 2012 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  23. Olaf Big

    Trust the Russians to go for a bear hug!

    July 28, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  24. Maggie

    Good for Michelle Obama.

    July 28, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  25. m steve

    I can just see Anne Romney doing this in the spirit of the olympics. She would proably need a lift to get on her horse.

    July 28, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
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