McKayla Maroney, U.S. artistic gymnast, is Olympic bound.
Read all about her past accomplishments, training habits, favorites and more in this article. Then, get ready to watch her amazing performances later this month in London.
Athlete: McKayla Maroney
Sport: Artistic Gymnastics
Hometown: Long Beach, CA
Height/Weight: 5'2"/160 lbs.
Favorite Event: Floor Exercise
Favorite Foods: Sushi and Fruit
Personal Website: http://mckayla-maroney.com/
McKayla Maroney began her journey to the Olympics 15 years ago at the age of 2 when her mom signed her up for a gymnastics class to rid her of excessive energy. Her early start in the sport paid off when she earned one of five spots on the US Olympic Artistic Gymnastic team this July.
In the Spotlight
While not a national star her entire life, this 16-year-old California native has recently been making a big name for herself. Since 2010, McKayla has won first place in the event of vault in almost every national and international competition she has entered, including the U.S. Olympic Trials that took place earlier this month. Her difficult vault (called the Amanar), competed by very few gymnasts in the world, makes her incredibly valuable to Team USA. While vault is clearly a strength for her, she is also a strong competitor on the other three events (bars, beam and floor) and has repeatedly made the podium for the all-around portion of the competitions. She recently put extra focus on perfecting her beam routine and added almost half a point to her score on that event alone. This was clearly noticed by Marta Karolyi (Team USA coach) and evident in her decision to include McKayla in the Olympic team.
A huge highlight for McKayla's career came in 2011 when she won the all-around competition (besting now team mate Jordyn Wieber) at the City of Jeslo Trophy in Italy. But don't let that worry you about the girl's upcoming performances together. McKayla says, "it doesn't get competitive among the (U.S.) gymnasts because we're all really close friends. We know that we have to be the best for our country."
McKayla, who describes herself as "girly," is a multi-faceted individual and is being sponsored by Ralph Lauren for the Olympic Season. Special interviews, wardrobes and advertisements come along with this desirable honor. So you may be seeing her beautiful face on more than just the competition floor.
Dealing with Nerves
McKayla admits to getting nervous before competitions, but she calms herself by remembering how hard she has worked to get to this point. She feels she has good control of her nerves thanks to her many years in the sport. We hope all parts of McKayla (body and nerves) are in control and we see some amazing performances from her in London this summer.
You can read more about McKayla's lifelong gymnastic career in her mother's book "Gym Mom: The Twists and Turns of Your Daughter's Gymnastics Career."
I have been involved with the sport of gymnastics for many years including being a competitor for eight years and a coach for multiple levels and age groups for over ten years. I am anxiously awaiting the performances in London and hope that you find time to enjoy them as well.Information sources for this article include McKayla-Maroney.com a fan site, as well as the USA Gymnastics website.