As far as sports go, especially in America, artistic gymnastics is one of the less popular sports in the country. However, it hasn’t kept one of its personalities from being one of the most recognizable faces in America. McKayla Maroney, at a young age, has become an admirable and accomplished ambassador of artistic gymnastics, not just in America but in the world at large.
At a young age, she has competed at the highest level, from the Olympics to World Championships, and in this article, we discuss everything you need to know about her, including how she transcended the unpopular trait of the sport to become a national figure. Check it out below.
What is McKayla Maroney’s Age?
McKayla was born on the 9th of December 1995 in Aliso Viejo, California. She is one of three children born to Mike and Erin Maroney, who also have a history in sports as a former college quarterback and a figure skater, respectively. Every parent, when they welcome a new child, wish that the child will grow up to become an accomplished individual, and in the case of Mike and Erin, they never had to wait too long. McKayla Maroney began life as a gymnast at the age of 2, having shown promise during her crawling stage.
By the time she was eight years of age, McKayla Maroney had begun elite gymnastics training at the Gym-Max in Costa Mesa, California, harboring dreams of competing at the Olympics. 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 placed 27th, coming third in the vault category. In the following year, at the CoverGirl Classic, she improved her finish, securing a seventh place. In her return to the Visa Championships, she finished higher, placing third and earning her first medal. She came first in the vault category.
McKayla Maroney began her senior career as a gymnast at the age of 15. She competed in the City of Jesolo Trophy in Italy, and she finished first, returning home with three gold medals, including a gold medal in the vault category. She competed in other competitions like the Visa Championships and the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, as part of the American team, and helped the team to a gold medal finish.
McKayla Maroney’s dream of competing at the Summer Olympics came true in 2012, at the age of 16. After excelling at the Olympic trials, she was selected to be a part of the American gymnastics team at the London Olympics. Contributing a first-place finish in the team final, she helped the American team to a gold medal, earning her first Olympic medal. In the same competition, she placed second in the vault final, winning a silver medal.
However, while she was on the podium after receiving her silver medal, a brief look of disappointment captured in a photograph went viral, helping her achieve mainstream popularity.
Since achieving national fame, McKayla Maroney has gone on to record other remarkable achievements. Such as signing a sponsorship deal with Adidas, serving as a judge for the Miss America pageant, and making her debut as an actress in the show, Hart of Dixie, where she played the character, Tonya.
Despite competing in various competitions post-Olympics, she was unable to return to the Olympics in 2016, and in 2016, at the age of 20, McKayla Maroney announced her retirement from competitive gymnastics. She won a total of 18 awards over the course of her professional career, 15 of which were gold medals.
What is She Doing Now?
Following her retirement from the sport, McKayla Maroney continued her career as a TV personality, appearing on programs like NBC’s Today and Dateline NBC. She also appeared on the show, Superstore, playing herself.
Aside from her TV appearances, she was one of several women who came out with allegations of sexual harassment against Larry Nassar, the US Gymnastics doctor. The claims contributed to an investigation that began in November 2016, and after two years of trial, including testimony from McKayla Maroney herself, Nassar got sentenced to 125 years in prison.
After making the allegations on her social media account in 2017, McKayla Maroney left social media for two years, returning in 2019. Earlier in 2018, Maroney, along with other victims of Nassar, were awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.