Shalane Flanagan remembers the moments when she’s felt most American.
“Being able to vote is a very American feeling,” she tells USA TODAY Sports. “Representing my company in the Olympics was obviously a very American moment. And, honestly, being part of a Super Bowl commercial feels very American to me.”
She forgot to mention being the first American woman to win the New York City Marathon in 40 years, but Flanagan makes a good point: What’s more American than the great American excess of the Super Bowl, including its $5 million commercials?
“Michelob Ultra called and said I had this opportunity,” she says, “and I think I, like, squealed.”
Flanagan was in an ad for Michelob Ultra with actor Chris Pratt, golfer Brooks Koepka and surfer Kelly Slater. The spot showed the athletes and the actor living active lifestyles while still enjoying beer. And they are singing the 1975 country song “I Like Beer.”
Well, does she?
“Yeah,” Flanagan says. “I do believe in working hard but then also celebrating. And a lot of people want to know about my diet just because I am a runner and runners are obsessed with what to eat. I get a lot of questions about how I celebrate after a big marathon, and my automatic response is: ‘A burger and a beer.’ ”
Michelob Ultra had two ads in the Super Bowl for the first time. The first, titled “The Perfect Fit,” stars Pratt and chronicles his journey to prepare for his first Super Bowl commercial. The second, a sort of sequel, is titled “I Like Beer” and stars Pratt with Koepka, U.S. Open golf champion, and Slater, an 11-time World Surf league champ — plus Flanagan.
“I wasn’t able to meet the other celebrity athletes but I did meet Chris Pratt and in person he is just as nice and funny as he appears,” Flanagan says. “He’s definitely very fit — but not a runner. So I was teasing him about how much he was sweating during the shoot.”