Yesterday Simone Manuel of the United States and Penny Oleksiak of Canada set a co-Olympic record as they tied in the finals of the 100 Meter Freestyle.
In the image captured above, Ms. Manuel is being interviewed just after her Gold Medal performance. In trying to suppress her tears, Simone's psyche employs an Inward Lip Roll (ILR). This nonverbal tool is but one method the human subconscious uses in an effort to both blunt the outward expression strong emotions - as well as also suppressing their inward growth. In this case Ms. Manuel is trying to dampen her "Happy Tears" - a colloquial emotional expression which overlaps with that of another: "Fiero".
As with so many emotions, Fiero is a descriptor which does not have an English language equivalent. It's a termed coined by Italian Psychologist Isabella Poggi and characterizes the feelings of intense triumph we feel upon solving a problem or great accomplishment. And although it's most commonly photographed in the context of sport - fiero, of course, occurs in every aspect of life.
The photo below shows Penny Oleksiak only 1-2 seconds after the race. The Canadian athlete is not yet fully expressing Fiero. From a nonverbal perspective, it's very important to note how her mouth is opened in a classic sincere surprise configuration displaying a vertical-oval, tight-lip configuration. In contrast, in the every-day world - a high percentage of what most people label as "surprise" is feigned. In these scenarios of acted and insincere surprise the appearance of teeth is one way to detected its forced nature.
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