Team U.S.A. curler Matt Hamilton worked for years to get to have his curling skills recognized on the world stage. However, what ended up causing him to go viral on Thursday was not his competitive prowess, but instead, it was his likeness to computer game character Super Mario.
The Internet meme was launched after an Olympics fan jumped to Twitter to joke that as he watched the Wisconsin-born athlete on TV, it struck him that Hamilton looked like the famed Nintendo cartoon character.
On Tuesday, a Twitter user named Jon took to Twitter to joke: “Just watching the Olympics during my night class and we have Mario on our curling team!!”
Not long after Jon’s Tweet, the U.S. Olympics Twitter feed took up the meme and posted a “side-by-side” comparison of Hamilton next to a photo with Super Mario’s head superimposed on the curler’s body. The photos were captioned, “spot the difference.”
Twitter users who saw the tweet from Team U.S.A. caught on with the joke right away.
“These two pictures are the same,” one Twitter user joked.
“My new favorite sport even has Mario,” another said.
Hamilton, who is teamed with his sister, Becca Hamilton, started the Olympics off with a big win beating the Russian team 9-3 on Wednesday. Unfortunately, the U.S. team lost to the Canadian team in the second match 6-4.
The Hamiltons teamed up in 2015 when it was announced that mixed doubles would be included in this year’s Winter Olympics, according to ESPN. The Mixed doubles matches are now over, but both Hamiltons will compete in the single-sex tournaments.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.