McKayla Maroney

McKayla Maroney Biography.com

Athlete, Gymnast(1995–)
American gymnast McKayla Maroney won a gold medal with the U.S. Olympics gymnastics team and a silver medal for the vault at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Synopsis

American gymnast McKayla Maroney was born on December 9, 1995 in Long Beach, California. Inheriting the athletic talents of her father, a former Purdue University football quarterback, and the petite size of her mother, Maroney was destined to be a gymnast. In 2009, Maroney competed in her first major competition, the Visa Championships in Dallas, Texas. She placed 27th in the all-around competition and third in the vault, an event that she would excel in for years to come. In 2011, she became the World Vault Champion at the 2011 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Japan. At the 2012 Olympic Summer Games, Maroney and her teammates won a gymnastics team gold medal—a first for the American women's gymnastics team since 1996. Although Maroney was picked to win gold on the vault at the 2012 Olympics, her two imperfect landings lowered her score and she finished second; Romanian gymnast Sandra Izbasa won the gold on vault and Maroney won the silver.

Early Career

American Olympic gymnast McKayla Rose Maroney was born on December 9, 1995 in Long Beach, California. One of three children, Maroney was an energetic, lively child. Inheriting the athletic talents of her father, a former Purdue University football quarterback, and the petite size of her mother, Maroney was destined to be a gymnast. After mimicking the characters of one of her favorite movies, Tarzan, and walking around on all fours, her mother decided to put her in gymnastics. A natural athlete, she soon became involved in soccer, ice skating and tennis. At 9 years old, Maroney and her family moved to a new training club in California so that she to further pursue her dream of becoming an Olympic gymnast. After watching favorites like Carly Patterson compete at the 2004 Olympic Trials, she set her sights on an Olympic career.

Olympic Medalist

Quickly moving from level 5 to 10 over the next four years, Maroney began competing at the state and national level. In 2009, at just 13 years old, she competed in her first major competition, the Visa Championships in Dallas, Texas. She placed 27th in the all-around competition and third in the vault, an event that she would excel in for years to come. In the spring of 2010, Maroney moved gyms to begin training in Los Angeles, soon competing at the CoverGirl Classic in Chicago, Illinois, and at the Visa Championships again in Hartford, Connecticut. She soon began competing internationally, and in 2011, she became the World Vault Champion at the 2011 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, held in Tokyo, Japan.

In 2012, after competing at the Olympic Trials in San Jose, California, Maroney was chosen to the U.S. Olympic women's gymnastics team, along with friend Kyla Ross. In July of 2012, Maroney was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated, along with the rest of the U.S. women's team, including Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, Gabrielle Douglas and Kyla Ross—it was the first time that an entire Olympic team had ever graced the cover.

At the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, Maroney and her teammates were honored with a gymnastics team gold medal—a first for the American women's gymnastics team since 1996. Although Maroney was picked to win gold on the vault at the 2012 Olympics, her two imperfect landings lowered her score and she finished second; Romanian gymnast Sandra Izbasa won the gold on vault and Maroney won the silver.

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