McKayla Maroney

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McKayla Maroney
— Gymnast —
McKayla Maroney at the White House in 2012.jpg
Maroney during a November 2012 visit to the White House.
Personal information
Full name McKayla Rose Maroney
Nickname(s) Mac
Country represented  United States
Born (1995-12-09) December 9, 1995 (age 18)[1]
Aliso Viejo, California, U.S.
Hometown Laguna Niguel, California
Height 160 cm (5 ft 3 in)[2]
Discipline Women's artistic gymnastics
Level Senior International Elite
Gym All Olympia Gymnastics Center (AOGC)
Head coach(es) Artur Akopyan[3]
Assistant coach(es) Galina Marinova
Former coach(es) Jenny Zhang, Howie Liang
Choreographer Geza Pozsar (2011)
Music "Those Were The Days"/"Dorogoi dlinnoyu" (2011)
Yemmoo by Samvel Yervinyan (2012)

McKayla Rose Maroney (born December 9, 1995) is an American artistic gymnast. She is a vaulting and floor exercise specialist. At the 2011 World Championships, she won gold medals in the team and vault competitions. She was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. women's gymnastics team at the 2012 Summer Olympics and was the 2012 Olympic vault silver medalist. She defended her World title and won the gold medal on vault at the 2013 World Championships, becoming the first US female gymnast to defend a World Championships vault title. A photograph of her with a "not impressed" expression, taken after winning silver in the 2012 Olympics, became an internet meme.[4]

Early life[edit]

Maroney was born in Aliso Viejo, California, to Mike and Erin Maroney, on December 9, 1995. Her father was a quarterback at Purdue University,[5] and her mother was involved in figure skating and high school sports. She is Irish-Catholic.[6] She has two siblings, Tarynn and Kav, and is homeschooled in order to train as an elite gymnast.[7]

"When I was younger," Maroney said, "I would be watching Tarzan and running around on all fours. My mom was like, 'I need to put this child in gymnastics. She's crazy.' I was technically in gymnastics at the age of 2 and always felt comfortable in the gym."[8][9]

When Maroney was nine years old, she started training at Gym-Max in Costa Mesa, California. In 2012 she said, "I realized that I had a dream that I wanted to go to the Olympics and I wanted to go as far as I could go. I thought I should probably move to a new gym and start thinking about the Olympics."[9]

About her first Olympic memory, she said, "I remember watching Carly Patterson. She was one of my favorites. I loved her floor routine. I went to Olympic Trials that year (2004) with Kyla [Ross]. I remember seeing the gymnasts on the floor and I loved all of their leotards. I thought they were so little and so amazing. I thought, how am I going to stay this little? I was worried that I was going to be really tall because my dad is 6'3" and my mom is 5'2", so I didn’t know which one I was going to be."[10]

Junior career[edit]

2009[edit]

In August, Maroney competed at the Visa Championships in Dallas, Texas. She placed twenty-seventh in the all-around with a two day combined score of 104.800[11] and third in the vault final with a score of 29.900.[12] When asked about the first time she performed an Amanar in competition, Maroney said, "The first time I did it was at Visa Championships and I was just thirteen years old. I was just really little and I didn't really know what was going on. But I just did it, and I was just very happy that I landed on my feet."[13]

2010[edit]

In July, Maroney competed at the CoverGirl Classic in Chicago, Illinois. She placed seventh in the all-around competition with a score of 55.650.[14]

In August, Maroney competed at the Visa Championships in Hartford, Connecticut. She placed third in the all-around competition with a two day combined score of 113.250.[15] In event finals, she placed first on vault scoring 32.000, seventh on balance beam scoring 27.850, and fourth on floor scoring 28.400.[16]

In September, Maroney competed at the Pan American Championships in Guadalajara, Mexico. She contributed a vault score of 15.933, a balance beam score of 13.866, and a floor score of 14.500 towards the American team's first place finish.[17] In event finals, she placed first on vault with a score of 15.387[18] and first on floor with a score of 14.225.[19]

Senior career[edit]

2011[edit]

In March, Maroney competed at the City of Jesolo Trophy in Jesolo, Italy. She won the all-around competition with a score of 57.850.[20]

In July, Maroney competed at the CoverGirl Classic in Chicago, Illinois. She placed sixth on balance beam scoring 14.550 and fifth on floor scoring 13.450.[21]

In August, Maroney competed at the Visa Championships in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She placed second in the all-around competition with a two-day combined score of 115.150.[22] In event finals, she placed first on vault scoring 30.700, seventh on balance beam scoring 27.650, and fifth on floor scoring 28.150.[23]

In October, Maroney competed at the 2011 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Tokyo, Japan. She contributed a vault score of 16.033 and a floor score of 14.566 towards the American team's first place finish.[24] Maroney won the vault final with a score of 15.300.[25] She told International Gymnast Magazine, "For every competition, I just went in there with confidence in myself and in my team, and each day it felt like I gained more and more experience."[26]

Early 2012[edit]

Maroney at the 2012 Secret U.S. Classic

Maroney upgraded her second vault to a round-off, half-on, full-twisting front layout. "I've done it at two (U.S. team training) camps so far, and it's going pretty well," Maroney said.[27] Her first vault is still an Amanar.

In March, Maroney competed at the City of Jesolo Trophy in Jesolo, Italy. She placed fourth in the all-around competition with a score of 57.950.[28]

In May, Maroney competed at the Secret U.S. Classic in Chicago, Illinois. She placed first on vault with a score of 16.100 and tenth on balance beam with a score of 13.800.[29]

In June, Maroney competed at the Visa Championships in St. Louis, Missouri. After the first day of competition, she was placed seventh in the all-around with a score of 58.700.[30] During warmups for the second day of competition, she fell on a tumbling pass on floor landing on her back. Maroney was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a minor concussion and nasal fracture. She took a week off from training[31] and successfully petitioned to compete at the Olympic Trials.[32]

At the beginning of July, Maroney competed at the Olympic Trials in San Jose, California. After the first day of competition she said, "I'm thankful that I'm even here. I knew I had to hit vault because it's the most important event for me to make the Olympic team."[33] Though she had falls on both bars and beam on day one, and a major loss of formation on bars during day two, she placed seventh in the all-around with a two-day combined score of 117.650.[34] In event finals, she placed first on vault scoring 31.700 and fifth on floor scoring 29.700.[35] Afterwards, Maroney was chosen as a member of the team that was sent to the 2012 Summer Olympics. She said, "This is the best feeling – it's just so amazing. I'm in shock right now. I think this will be the happiest I'll ever be in my life. It's the absolute best feeling knowing that I trained so hard for this and all the hard things that I have accomplished and now to be on this team. These girls are my best friends. My team mate Kyla Ross, we have been best friends since we were six years old so it's just absolutely amazing to be going to the Olympics."[31] When asked about feeling pressure to win gold on vault at the Olympics, she replied, "If I do my job I know I can get the gold medal. That's what they picked me to be on the team for, so I need to be confident about that."[10]

Maroney was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the rest of the USA Women's Olympic Gymnastics team on the July 18, 2012 issue of "Olympic Preview". This marked the first time an entire Olympic gymnastics team had been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated.[36]

London Olympics[edit]

At the end of July, Maroney competed at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England. During training she aggravated a previous bone break in the big toe of her right foot but she still competed on vault, though she did not take part in the floor routine as she had hoped. "Bad things happen, you just have to make the best of it," Maroney said. "It does hurt. It’s broken. How is it not going to hurt? I just try to ignore it and I have worked so hard to be here I can ignore the pain for a little bit."[37] She helped the American team qualify in first place,[38] and individually qualified in first place to the vault final with a score of 15.800.[39]

Along with Jordyn Wieber, she is credited for changing the team's nickname from the "Fab Five" to the "Fierce Five". While on the bus to a training session, they decided to change the name because the "Fab Five" was already used for a basketball team associated with the University of Michigan as well as being associated with the musical group Duran Duran. They started searching on their phones for words that started with 'F' that described the team. The top choices were feisty and fierce. Maroney and Wieber opted for "fierce", as they said it described their floor routines, and the rest of the team concurred.[40]

In the team final, she contributed a vault score of 16.233 toward the American team's first place finish,[41] which was the highest score in the competition. She also scored an execution average of 9.733, the highest execution score at an Olympics or world championship under the new scoring system for women's gymnastics.[42] About the rest of the team final, Maroney said, "I just wanted them to do so well and I'm just so proud of them. I was screaming and yelling. That last event on floor was really exhilarating, but amazing at the same time. I don't think I will ever, ever forget that."[43]

In the vault final, Maroney won a silver medal with a score of 15.083. She performed an Amanar for her first vault but fell on her second. This fall ended her 33-vault hitting streak in competition.[44] Even with the fall, Maroney still came in second.[45] She said, "I didn't get my full block, my hands didn't really touch the vault. I still walked out with a silver medal and I'm happy about that. I'll have to watch the video and figure out what happened. It's really sad that I had to fall on that vault but I'm glad I won a silver medal. I know I can do better vaults but I also know I didn't deserve the gold medal because I fell on my second vault. It happens. It's gymnastics. You can't always be perfect. Sometimes things don't go as planned."[46]

"McKayla is not impressed"[edit]

President Obama mimics Maroney's "not impressed" look in the Oval Office, November 2012

After winning the silver medal in the vault finals, Maroney was photographed on the medal podium while giving a brief look of disappointment with her lips pursed to the side. The image became an Internet phenomenon that was sparked by a tumblr blog called "McKayla is not impressed".[47][48] The image went viral after it was Photoshopped into various "impressive" places and situations, e.g. on top of the Great Wall of China and standing next to Usain Bolt.[49][50] Maroney has stated that she finds the Internet meme "kinda funny".[51] Maroney later poked fun at the meme on various occasions including appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars, Extra and most notably when she and the rest of the U.S. Gymnastics team met United States President Barack Obama at the White House in November 2012. She and President Obama posed for a photo together, both making the same pursed-lips expression.[52] The podium picture made the top spot on Yahoo's list of "Most Viral Photos" of 2012.[53]

Post-Olympics[edit]

In September, Maroney was injured during an uneven bars dismount while performing at the Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions in Ontario, California. An MRI revealed that she had fractured the tibia in her left leg.[54] The injury occurred shortly before teammate Aly Raisman injured herself performing on the same bars.[55] On September 13, 2012, Maroney had two screws inserted to repair the fractured left tibia. She wore an immobilizer to keep the leg straight until doctors determined that she was ready to resume limited walking and rebuilding range of motion.[56] Maroney returned to The Kellogg's Tour on October 4, 2012 in Oklahoma City on light duty. She was seen during the finale wearing her leg and foot splints and also at the VIP Meet and Greet session after the event.[citation needed]

On January 12, 2013, Maroney served as one of the judges for the Miss America pageant.[57]

She participated in the Thirty Seconds to Mars music video "Up in the Air".[58]

In 2013, Maroney signed a sponsorship agreement with Adidas Gymnastics.[59]

2013[edit]

In July 2013, Maroney made her return to gymnastics at the 2013 Secret U.S. Classic, where she placed first on vault with a score of 15.425 (15.600 + 15.250) and third on floor with a score of 14.350, posting the highest execution score on that apparatus.[60] This was her first event since the 2012 London Olympics after breaking her leg. In an interview after she finished, Maroney said she hoped to upgrade both her vaults by the 2016 Olympics, as well as her tumbling on floor.[61]

At the P&G Championships in August, Maroney competed on vault and floor exercise. She won gold medals in both events.[62]

On September 15, Maroney was one of four gymnasts named to the United States team for the 2013 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium.[63] She was originally put on the team to compete on only two events: vault and floor, her strongest ones, but was later named to compete as an all-around gymnast alongside Simone Biles and Kyla Ross after performing extremely well during podium trainings. Teammate Brenna Dowell was named as an alternate instead, as there could only be three gymnasts competing on each event. She scored a total all-around score of 57.149, placing 6th overall, but due to the two-per-country rule, she could not compete in the all around final, the floor final (14.333) or qualify as third reserve to the uneven bars final (14.3). On floor, Maroney would have qualified over teammate Kyla Ross but due to her music being over time by one second she incurred a 0.1 deduction, putting her in the 6th place with same score as Ross. Due to Maroney having lower execution, albeit having higher difficulty, Ross progressed to the final. Maroney said in an interview that she felt she was underscored. In the vault final, she successfully defended her title, winning the gold medal with a score of 15.724.[64] She is the first American women to ever defend a world title on vault.

2014[edit]

In March, Maroney underwent surgery on her knee.[65] Maroney was featured on the cover of the April issue of Inside Gymnastics. In the International Gymnast magazine, she was quoted saying she wants to upgrade both of her vaults. [66]

On August 31, 2014, allegedly underage nude images of Maroney were published as part of the 2014 celebrity photo leaks.[67]

Competitive history[edit]

Year Event AA Team VT BB UB FX
2009 Visa Championships (junior) 27 3rd
2010 CoverGirl Classic (junior) 7 2nd 5
Visa Championships (junior) 3rd 1st 7 4
Pan American Championships (senior) 1st 1st 1st
2011 City of Jesolo Trophy 1st 1st 1st 5 5 4
CoverGirl Classic 6 5
Visa Championships 2nd 1st 7 5
World Championships 1st 1st
2012 City of Jesolo Trophy 4 1st 1st 6
Secret U.S. Classic 1st
U.S. Olympic Trials 7 1st 5
Olympic Games 1st 2nd
2013 Secret U.S. Classic 14 1st 3rd
P&G Championships 1st 1st
World Championships 1st

Acting career[edit]

Maroney made her acting debut in the CW television series Hart of Dixie on November 20, 2012. She played Tonya, a friend of Rose's in the episode "Baby, Don't Get Hooked on Me".[68] She has since made a further two appearances in the episodes "Lovesick Blues" on January 29, 2013 and "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" on March 5, 2013.

In December 2013, Maroney appeared on an episode of the Fox TV show Bones called "The Spark in the Park" (season 9 episode 11), as a gymnast named Ellie who is a suspect in the murder of a fellow gymnast.

Filmography[edit]

Film and television
Year Title Role Notes
2012–13 Hart of Dixie Tonya 3 episodes
2013 Bones Ellie Episode: "The Spark in the Park"

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  56. ^ The Associated Press (September 13, 2012). "McKayla Maroney has surgery to repair fractured tibia suffered during U.S. women's gymnastics team tour". NY Daily News (New York). Retrieved September 22, 2012. 
  57. ^ Staskiewicz, Keith (January 13, 2013). "There she is: Miss America crowns its new Queen of Kitsch". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 31, 2013. 
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  59. ^ "McKayla Maroney is all in and partners with Adidas Gymnastics". The Elegant Sports. April 3, 2013. Archived from the original on June 16, 2013. 
  60. ^ http://usagym.org/PDFs/Results/w_13classic_sr.pdf
  61. ^ "McKayla Maroney Impresses at 2013 Secret Classic". July 27, 2013. 
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  63. ^ http://usagym.org/pages/post.html?PostID=12849&prog=
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  65. ^ Jennifer T. (March 7, 2014). "Coach Marinova on Maroney's Latest Surgery". 
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  67. ^ "McKayla Maroney reportedly takes legal action over hacked pics, claiming she was underage". Fox News. September 3, 2014
  68. ^ Bricker, Tierney. "Olympian McKayla Maroney To Guest Star on Hart of Dixie". 

External links[edit]