U.S. wrestler Elena Pirozhkova picks up First Lady Michelle Obama (photo)
Making direct personal contact with the wife of the Leader of the Free World is typically frowned upon, let alone picking her up, but U.S. Olympics wrestler Elena Pirozhkova apparently received permission, so she went for it, hoisting Michelle Obama off the ground when the First Lady visited Team USA’s training center at the University of East London on Friday.
Thankfully, the unbelievable moment was captured by teammate Clarissa Chun, who snapped a photo and uploaded it to Twitter with the concise message, “Elena just picked up the First Lady.”
Pirozhkova, 25, originally from Russia and a member of the U.S. freestyle wrestling squad, explained her unusual request and subsequent lifting up of the First Lady:
“Even before she made the rounds I thought I can’t just hug her like everybody else,” Pirozhkova, who stands 5 feet 5 and competes in the 138.75-pound class, said in a statement released by USA Wrestling.
“I hugged her, and then I asked her if I could pick her up. 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.”
Something different, indeed. And it’s nice that she went slow while hoisting up Obama. Whenever a person elects to pick up the wife of the President off the ground, they should always remember this creed: Slow and low, that is the tempo.