As far as the sport is concerned, especially in America, artistic gymnastics is one of the less popular sports in the country. Nevertheless, it has not prevented one of its personalities from being one of America’s most famous faces. McKayla Maroney has become an admirable and accomplished ambassador of artistic gymnastics at a young age, not only in America but all over the world.
At a young age, she has competed at the highest level, from the Olympics to the World Championships, and in this article, we discuss everything you need to know about her, including how she went beyond the unpopularity of the sport to become a national figure. Look at this below.
What is McKayla Maroney’s Age?
McKayla was born on December 9, 1995, in Aliso Viejo, California. She is one of three children of Mike and Erin Maroney, who also has a sports history as a former college quarterback and figure skater, respectively. All parents, when they welcome a new child, wish that the child grows up to be a complete individual, and in the case of Mike and Erin, they never had to wait too long. McKayla Maroney began her life as a gymnast at the age of 2 years after showing promise during her crawling period.
At the age of eight, McKayla Maroney started elite gymnastics at Gym-Max in Costa Mesa, California, and dreamed of competing in the Olympic Games. In 2009, at the age of 13, she began her junior career at the Visa Championships in Dallas, Texas. At the end of the two-day combine, she finished 27th and finished third in the vault category. The following year she improved at the CoverGirl Classic and finished seventh. On her return to the Visa Championships, she improved with third place and the first medal. In the vaulting category, she took first place.
McKayla Maroney started her senior career as a gymnast at the age of 15. She took part in the Trophy of the City of Jesolo in Italy and came home first, where she won three gold medals, including a gold medal in vaulting. She participated in other competitions such as the Visa Championships and the World Championships in artistic gymnastics as part of the American team and helped the team win a gold medal.
McKayla Maroney’s dream of participating in the Summer Olympics came true in 2012, at the age of 16. After excelling in the Olympic trials, she was selected as part of the American gymnastics team at the London Olympics. With a first place in the team final, she helped the American team to a gold medal and won their first Olympic medal. In the same competition, she finished second in the vault final and won the silver medal.
McKayla Maroney makes her famous expression alongside President Obama
But as she stood on the podium after receiving her silver medal, a brief glimpse of disappointment captured in a photograph became viral and helped her achieve mainstream popularity.
Since achieving national fame, McKayla Maroney has achieved further remarkable successes. She signed a sponsorship deal with Adidas, served as a judge in the Miss America Pageant and made her debut as an actress on the show Hart of Dixie, where she played the character, Tonya.
Although she competed in several competitions after the Olympics, she was unable to return to the Olympics in 2016. In 2016, at the age of 20, McKayla Maroney announced her retirement from gymnastics. In the course of her professional career, she won a total of 18 awards, 15 of which were gold medals.
What is She Doing Now?
After retiring from the sport, McKayla Maroney continued her career as a TV personality, appearing on programs such as Today and Dateline NBC. She also appeared on the show “Superstore” and played herself.
Apart from her TV appearances, she was one of several women who came out with sexual harassment charges against US gym doctor Larry Nassar. The allegations contributed to an investigation that began in November 2016, and after two years of trial, including the testimony of McKayla Maroney herself, Nassar was sentenced to 125 years in prison.
After making the accusations on her social media account in 2017, McKayla Maroney left social media for two years and returned in 2019. In early 2018, Maroney, along with other victims of Nassar, was awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.