The coach punched the air, ripped off his mask, and hip-pushed a railing to become an instant classic meme amongst the viewers of the Tokyo Olympics. 

Australian swimmer Ariarne Titmus defeated American star Katie Ledecky in the women’s 400-meter freestyle final, giving the five-time gold medallist her first loss in an individual occasion at the Olympics. The victory also gave us one of the most ecstatic celebrations in a long time.  

Titmus, whose nickname is Arnie, crushed her own best time in the race, at 3:56.69, in front of Ledecky’s 3:57.36. Ledecky set up a genuine battle, with the last lap a truly exciting one in a dead heat push towards the divider. Titmus’ was the second-quickest time ever. China’s Bingjie Li claimed bronze with a time of 4:01.08. 


Following the race, cameras shot to Boxall, who put on an act, shouting, ripping off his mask, running down the mezzanine, and tossing his fist all around. One of the attendants almost needed to keep Boxall down while he flipped out in the stands. 

This was not the first time that Titmus had taken Ledecky down, but this was the biggest stage of them all. In the 2019 World Championships, Titmus had defeated Ledecky. The 400-meter freestyle was the first of the rivals’ many expected showdowns in Tokyo, so we may be seeing more of Boxall by the time these Games are done.

While we shouldn’t validate ripping your mask off to scream in the middle of a pandemicor terrifying poor ushers who clearly had no idea how Australian men react to winning at sport, we can all accept and associate to a moment of long-fought-for triumph. 

Just after Titmus’s victory, social media started reacting to her coach’s celebration: 

“If my coach doesn’t react like this when I have a big win then I don’t want it,” tweeted professional tennis player Daria Gavrilova from Australia.

In Australia, broadcaster Fox Sports declared Boxall an “instant icon”.