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McKayla Maroney is one of the most dominant vaulters the sport has ever seen. Her score of 16.233 in Team Finals during the 2012 Olympics remains legendary. Never before had someone combined so much difficulty with so much technical execution. Despite having recorded the highest vault score at every stage of every major competition of her senior-level career, a fall in Event Finals demoted Maroney to second place. Her facial expressions during the medal ceremony would immediately go viral on the Internet.
Ironically, Maroney’s “not impressed” face as she reacted to winning “only” a silver medal probably did more to enhance her fame than winning an Olympic title in Event Finals ever could. Amongst gymnastics fans Maroney is known for her vaulting prowess, but she also had considerable AA potential having won the 2011 Jesolo title as a junior. Injuries seemed to sidetrack what could have been a standout AA career alongside a standout vaulting career. Maroney’s floor work at the 2011 World Championships to the old school tune of “Those Were the Days” also remains a classic.
Maroney also has considerable clout outside the gymnastics fanbase. Her personality, social media skills, and of course, a viral meme has given her an enormous fanbase to work with. McKayla’s recent passion has been pursuing a career in music.
World Championships & Olympic Competition:
World Championships – 1st-VT
U.S. Championships – 1st-VT, FX
U.S. Classic, Chicago, Ill. – 1st-VT; 3rd-FX
U.S. Olympic Trials, San Jose, Calif. – 1st-VT; 5th-FX; 7th-AA
U.S. Championships, St. Louis, Mo. –
U.S. Classic, Chicago, Ill. – 1st-VT
Olympic Games, London, England – 1st-Team; 2nd-VT
Jesolo – 1st-Team, VT; 4th-AA; 6th-FX
World Championships, Tokyo, Japan – 1st-Team, VT
Jesolo – 1st-Team, AA, VT; 4th-FX; 5th-UB, BB(T)
U.S. Championships, Saint Paul, Minn. – 1st-VT; 2nd-AA; 5th-FX; 7th-BB
U.S. Classic, Chicago, Ill. – 5th-FX; 6th-BB
Pan American Championships, Guadalajara, Mexico – 1st-Team, VT, FX
U.S. Championships, Hartford, Conn. – 1st-VT; 3rd-AA; 4th-FX(T); 7th-BB (Jr. Div.)
U.S. Classic, Chicago, Ill. – 2nd-VT(T); 5th-FX; 7th-AA (Jr. Div.)
U.S. Championships, Dallas, Texas – 3rd-VT (Jr. Div.)
Articles Featuring McKayla Maroney:
McKayla Maroney: A Case Study of How Television Should Not Treat an Athlete
McKayla Maroney is Awesome (Part I)
McKayla Maroney is Awesome (Part II)
Results are taken from Score for Score, The Gymternet, GymnasticGreats, My Meet Scores, Gymn-Forum, the official websites of various national gymnastics federations, newspaper clippings, classic gymnastics magazines, and in some cases, were provided by the gymnasts themselves. An explanation for the meaning of these symbols can be found here.