McKayla Rose Maroney, also known as ‘Mack Air Maroney’, is a famous American gymnast who won a gold medal with the US Olympics gymnastics team and an individual silver medal for the vault event at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Her parents were involved in sports, which prompted her to take up gymnastics at an early age. She specialized in the vault and is the only athlete to defend a gold medal in the event, which she first won in the 2011 World Championship and later defended in 2013 Championship. She was not very happy to get the silver medal for vault in the 2012 Olympics and wanted to have another go for gold at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. However, due to injury and other health issues she had to announce her retirement from gymnastics before the Olympic Games commenced. Besides gymnastics, she has appeared in a few television serials and has plans to debut as a singer. McKayla has a bright future ahead of her. She is a celebrity in her own right as a sports person and an overall accomplished personality, with a large following on social media and a sizable net worth estimated at over one million dollars.
Childhood & Early Life
McKayla Maroney was born on December 9, 1995 to Mike and Erin Maroney in Long Beach, California. Both her parents were involved in sports during their youth. Her father played quarterback for the Purdue University team and her mother participated in figure skating during her high school days. She belongs to a close knit family with two siblings, Tarynn and Kav.
McKayla was very energetic and had a flexible body as a child. Her mother recognised her natural talent and decided to train her as a gymnast. In order to start young, Kayla was given home education to concentrate on her sport. At the age of nine, she enrolled at the Gym-Max in Costa Mesa, California and set her sights on the Olympics. She also enjoyed soccer, ice skating and tennis in her free time.
She was greatly influenced by Olympian, Carly Patterson and went for Olympic trials for the first time in 2004 with Kyla Ross. Though she was not selected in the team, it was a great learning experience for her, which she has always cherished. Quickly moving from level 5 to 10, she began to compete in national level gymnastic competitions over the next four years and became a name to reckon with.
At the age of 13, she participated at the Visa Championship in Dallas, Texas. She finished third in the vault final and secured an all round 27th place in the event. It was the first time that she performed an Amanar vault in a competition.
The following year she came seventh at the Cover Girl Classic in Chicago. By then she had made vaulting her strong point which she proved by securing the first position in vault at the Visa Championship at Hartford. She was judged third all round in the Championship.
She again stood first in the vault event at the Pan American Championship at Guadalajara, Mexico. Her confidence grew with her success and from there on there was no looking back for McKayla as she took three gold medals home from the event in vault, floor and team events.
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Her first senior level competition was the City of Jesolo Trophy in 2011, where she won the title of best all round gymnast.
It did not take long for McKayla to attain international experience. In 2011, she became the World Vault Champion at the World Artistic Gymnastics Championship held at Tokyo, Japan.
The 2012 Summer Olympic Games was a high point in the career of McKayla, where she won a Gold medal as part of the US gymnastics team and a silver medal for her individual performance in the vault. It was for the first time, since 1996, that the US women’s gymnastics team won gold in the Olympics. McKayla was also tipped to win gold in the vault, but suffered a setback due to two imperfect landings that brought her position down to second.
McKayla was not too happy with her silver medal at the Olympic Games and her expression at the podium said it all. In fact, the photograph went viral on the internet with the caption ‘McKayla is not impressed’. In July 2012, she was featured on the cover of the ‘Sports Illustrated’ magazine, along with the rest of the US women’s gymnastics team.
In September 2012, she suffered an injury while performing on the uneven bars at the Kellogg’s Tour in Ontario due to which she had to take a break from gymnastics for a while. During this period, she appeared as one of the judges for the Miss America Pageant and participated in the ‘Thirty Seconds to Mars’ video, ‘Up in the Air’. She also made an endorsement for Adidas.
Her set back at the Olympic Games and subsequent injury did not stop her from working hard and improving her performance to win the gold medal in the vault event in the 2013 World Championship.
She had to undergo surgery of the knee in 2014 and though she wished to participate in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, McKayla announce that she would be retiring from gymnastics due to health issues.
McKayla Maroney will always be remembered as a member of the US gymnastics team that won gold in the team event of the 2012 Olympics Games.
In her acting career she has appeared in the serials ‘Hart of Dixie’ (2012 – 2015), ‘Bones’ (2013) and ‘Superstore’ (2016).
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Awards & Achievements
McKayla specialised in the vault event for which she won a silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games at London.
She had previously won a gold medal for vault at the 2011 Tokyo World Championship and defended her title by winning the gold medal for vault again at the 2013 Antwerp World Championship.
She also won a gold medal for the team event at the 2011 Tokyo World Championship and 2012 London Olympic Games.
Besides the vault, she was adjudged the best all round gymnast in the 2011 National Championship held at Saint Paul.
In addition to her sports career, McKayla has appeared in the television series ‘Hart of Dixie’ in 2012. She also had a recurring role in six episodes of ‘Baby, Don’t Get Hooked on Me’. In 2013, she played a role in the Fox TV show ‘Bones’, where she is a gymnast who is suspected of murder of a fellow gymnast.
Personal Life & Legacy
Despite being a celebrity sports person and actress, McKayla has lived a very disciplined life. She has several fans on social media but not much is known about her relationship status.
McKayla was inspired to become a gymnast after seeing the movie ‘Tarzan’ as a child and started acting like him when her mother realised her potential. She has gone on to win 10 international medals, of which nine are gold and one is silver.
In August 2014, nude images of Kayla Maroney were allegedly leaked and published as part of celebrity photo leaks.
In 2016, she made an announcement that she would be making a singing debut with a single number titled ‘Ghost’.