After winning the gold medal in 2012, McKayla became one of the biggest U.S. athletics stars.
Marone had a look of disappointment when she was awarded the silver medal after the women’s vault competition.
McKayla Maroney started her gymnastics career as a very young girl and over the years she has experienced a lot that helped her shape her life.
Maroney was born in Aliso Viejo on December 9, 1995. Her father, Mike Maroney, played quarterback at Purdue University while her mother Erin Maroney was a figure skater and high school sports player.
“My mom put me in gymnastics because I had so much energy, and I was always running around, so she thought gymnastics might take away some of the insane amounts of energy,” Maroney wrote on her profile on U.S. Gymnastics.
At the age of 8, Maroney knew what she wanted to do. In her yearbook in fifth grade, Maroney wrote, “I want to be in the Olympics!”
“My mom was good at letting her kids make their own decisions,” she told Elle. “Looking back at it now, I wouldn’t have been who I was without my mom letting me be independent.”
“She was happiest in the gym,” Maroney’s mother Erin said. “When she walks in the gym, there’s a feeling that comes over. It completes her.”
“I just loved doing stuff that most people can’t do with their body,” McKayla added. “I can flip in the air and just fly on certain things. And I just love that feeling of working so hard on something that you want and reaching that goal. It’s the best feeling.”
She competed in her first U.S. National Championship in 2009 at the age of 14 where she won a bronze in the Vault Junior Division.
Yahoo describes it as a round-off onto the springboard, a backhand spring onto the vault, then a flip with 2 1/2 twists with one body entirely laid out.
“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 know what was going on. But I just did it, and I was just very happy that I landed on my feet,” she said in 2012.
During the medal ceremony, the look on Maroney’s face was priceless and many have different interpretations of the face she was making.
McKayla Maroney spoke with Inside Gymnastics and explained that she only did the face for “literally two seconds.”
“Like, if you watch the video, it’s two seconds. And I remember thinking, did I just make a face? Because it’s natural. I do it all the time, I have pictures of me when I’m little doing it. I have it on my Mac computer when I’m like 13,” she said.
She was a great gymnast and currently helping other people through her actions.