Social media have become a large part of human life, and the way an individual uses them can speak about his or her current state of life. McKayla Maroney was a big Instagram user, with millions of followers who appreciated every post, but in 2017 she deleted her account, leaving the fans who had become accustomed to catching up on their lives on the platform confused.
After two years, McKayla Maroney returned to Instagram, followed by an enthusiastic welcome from fans and observers who had missed her on the platform. But why did she leave in the first place and why did she decide to return? We will answer these questions in the following.
Why Did McKayla Maroney Delete Her Instagram Account?
In September 2017 McKayla Maroney deleted her Instagram account, @mckaylamaroney. McKayla, who is a former gymnast, had become popular after setting a viral record during the 2012 Summer Olympics when she was disappointed and photographed unimpressed on the medal podium.
Since then, she has remained a popular figure in American sports and social media, where she has dazzled her fans with images of herself in various moments. As a gymnast, she participated in the Olympic Games, World Championships and the Trophy of the City of Jesolo, winning ten medals, nine of which were gold.
She remained popular even after she retired from gymnastics in 2016, and her Instagram account grew to over one million followers.
However, her journey through the social media came to an abrupt halt in 2017 after she claimed that US gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar had repeatedly harassed her, from the age of 13 until her retirement.
She made the allegations under the umbrella of the #Metoo movement, where several women reported incidents of sexual abuse by employees and men in positions of power.
In addition to the allegations, she also filed a lawsuit against USA Gymnastics, Michigan State University, and the United States Olympic Committee, accusing them of covering up the sexual abuse by offering her $1.25 million in a confidentiality agreement that she accepted.
The backlash against the accusations and the psychological strain of testifying against Nassar in court prompted McKayla Maroney to withdraw from social media, leave Instagram and reduce the frequency of her posts on Twitter before taking a complete break a year later.
Although she was no longer at Instagram to party with her fans, Larry Nassar was fortunately sentenced to more than 100 years in prison after her testimony and that of other gymnasts triggered an investigation that revealed that he had more than 37,000 images of child pornography, as well as a video of him harassing underage girls. He was convicted in January 2018, 16 months after McKayla Maroney published her claim on social media.
Fans expected McKayla to return to Instagram after the conviction as a ceremonial return to the triumph of justice, but she did not do so until September 2019, two years after she left.
How McKayla Maroney Came Back
Many fans of McKayla Maroney had accepted the complete absence of the former gymnast in their Instagram and Twitter timelines. Although she temporarily returned to Twitter in January 2019 when she tweeted about her father’s death, a tweet that she deleted shortly thereafter, she did not return to the social media platform until August 8th when she posted a selfie on the car site.
While fans on Twitter got the temporary presence of McKayla Maroney on her timeline during her social media break, she didn’t post on Instagram until September 2019, when she shared several stories of herself with her friend.
According to the post, McKayla Maroney was “forced” by her friend to return to social media. Since her return, she has published several articles, proving that this is not a temporary return, McKayla is back for good.
It remains to be seen what McKayla would do now that she is back in social media, but one thing is for sure, she is focusing on the future. We may not get a new viral meme from the Olympic gold medalist, but we might see her in a few movies and TV shows after she makes her debut as an actress in 2012 show Hart of Dixie.
Between 2012 and 2015, she appeared in six episodes of the series, making a guest appearance in an episode of Bones.