UNDATED (CNN) -- What's it like to pick up the first lady? A lady wrestler describes giving Mrs. Obama a lift as she greeted the U-S team at the Olympics. The touchy feely first lady was suddenly found herself swept off her feet.
If there were an Olympic medal for hugging, first lady Michelle Obama would take it. She hugged every member of the U.S. Men's basketball team. They lined up. But even more impressive, the gold medal for lifting a first lady goes to this American wrestler.
Elena Pirozhkova, five-foot-five, lifting the 5 foot 11 first lady was a first. She says, "After she gave me a hug, my hand was still kind of at her waistband. I was like, 'Can I pick you up?' And she's like, 'OK'...kind of nervous."
Elena says she just wanted to make the moment a little more special. A teammate tweeted out the photo. The White House showcased its own version as photo of the day.
In 2010, Elena came in second wrestling at the World Championships. Some conservative web sites called it undignified.
Not since Nancy Reagan sat on Mr. T's lap as he played Santa have we seen a first lady in such an unusual position. Not since President Bush resisted an Olympian's invitation to slap her backside and settled for her back have we seen such informality. As for those who imagine that Elena would be saying 'oh my back' after lifting the first lady. Pirozhkova says, "No, you know, after I picked her up and I set her back down she's like, 'Oh I'm a lot heavier than I seem.' I was like, 'No, I'm a lot stronger than I look.'"
Elena is scheduled to wrestle on August 8.