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Where Is Former U.S. Olympic Gymnast McKayla Maroney Now? All About Her Life Today

The athlete's inspiring post-retirement traces her journey from gymnastics stardom to her impactful roles in advocacy and entertainment.

By Clara Faulkner

McKayla Maroney, a name that once echoed through the corridors of Olympic glory, has transitioned from the word of elite gymnastics into a multifaceted career that continues to inspire and captivate. 

Best known for her vaulting prowess and the iconic "not impressed" expression from the 2012 London Olympics, Maroney's journey on and off the mat showcases resilience and reinvention. 

Beyond her athletic achievements, the U.S Olympic gymnast has bravely faced and spoken out about the darker side of competitive sports. Her candid revelations have shed light on important issues within the athletic community. 

Today, Maroney has expanded her horizons beyond gymnastics, pursuing new avenues in entertainment and advocacy. She remains a prominent figure on social media with over 1.3 million followers, using her platform to promote mental health awareness and empower young gymnasts.

As Maroney continues to evolve and make an impact, her journey serves as an inspiring testament to perseverance and personal growth from her early days in competitive gymnastics

RELATED: All About Gymnast Nastia Liukin's Life After the Olympics

Where is McKayla Maroney from?

Born in Aliso Viejo, California, Maroney grew up surrounded by sports. Raised by an athletic family, Maroney began her gymnastics career at the age of 9. Her father, Mike Maroney, was a former quarterback at Purdue University, and her mother, Erin Maroney, was involved in figure skating and high school sports.

From a young age, Maroney began to work on her vault skills. Her training journey began in California, first at Gym-Max Gymnastics in Costa Mesa and later at All Olympia Gymnastics Center in Los Angeles, setting the stage for her future success.

Having her eyes on the prize of an elite gymnastics career, Maroney's rigorous training schedule and competition schedules led her to compete at the highest level of gymnastics, including in the London Games as a member of the "Fierce Five."

Mckayla Maroney during her floor routine in 2013

What happened to McKayla Maroney at the 2012 Olympics?

Maroney excelled at the 2012 Summer Games as a "Fierce Five" member, an all-women team also featuring Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Kyla Ross, and Jordyn Wieber. The team won the gold medal, marking the first gold medal victory for the U.S. Women's Gymnastics Team since 1996.

"It was just, like, godly," Maroney reflected on her experience in an interview with NBC Sports, "Like I really think that there was angels or something like that."

Maroney individually won silver on vault and contributed to the team's gold medal victory. After receiving her silver medal, a photograph of Maroney with a "not impressed" expression went viral on social media. 

While Maroney gained accolades, she also began to suffer from numerous injuries. By the time she retired in 2016, she had endured a broken foot, a left tibia fracture, knee surgery, and more.

"I had a fractured shin, and a shattered and dislocated sesamoid bone, and my nose was still broken from my concussion the month prior," she replied to a video of herself on X. "Lots of gymnasts really compete with crazy injuries."

Maroney had knee issues during the World Championships and had knee surgery on March 6, 2014. Although she resumed training in 2015, she could not make a complete comeback. Maroney also disclosed that she battled burnout and depression during this period, leading her to step back from the sport. 

"There's nothing wrong with taking space from the sport. People make comebacks." Maroney said on X, "Healing an injury is extremely important for long term happiness and health. I gave up my 2016 Olympic dream cuz it would've killed me. That wasn't worth it to me. I was 18, and just over the abuse."

RELATED: What Are the Twisties in Gymnastics?

Her Life Today

Mckayla Maroney wears a black dress and white sweater during an event

At 28 years old, Maroney has dedicated her post-retirement years to sharing her story in the wake of her sexual assault case involving Larry Nassar while also actively engaging in advocacy work. She stands alongside hundreds of women who have bravely spoken out about their experiences of sexual assault by former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar — the disgraced doctor was convicted of dozens of crimes and is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison, per NBC News — including Maroney and her “Fierce Five” teammates.

Despite facing sexual abuse, battling an eating disorder, coping with the loss of her father, and enduring the unauthorized release of nude photos online by hackers, the retired gymnast believes she has finally emerged on the other side after years of heartbreak and adversity as an Olympic medalist.

"I don't regret it because I can now be a voice to help girls like your daughter, but I also was extremely lucky to make the Olympic team," Maroney said on X in response to a question about pushing through pain at the London 2012.

When Maroney isn't involved in advocacy efforts, she finds inspiration in spirituality and her career as a singer-songwriter. She's released three songs in 2020. 

Maroney has also worked as an actor in shows such as Hart of Dixie, Bones, and Superstore.

In a 2013 interview with the Huffington Post, Maroney discussed her life after the Olympics, stating, "It's been crazy but really fun. My whole entire life, I trained to get to that point. You never really think about what happens after the Olympics—you're just like, 'I want to compete, I want to do well' and thinking about that. After it all happened, it was such a whirlwind. I've gotten to do so many amazing things. My favorite thing was getting into acting."

RELATED: Everything To Know about Olympic Champion Gymnast Simone Biles ahead of the 2024 Summer Games

While acting and singing are Maroney's passions, the medalist revealed on X that she is also embarking on writing a book, "I'm extremely excited to share my story and all the things I learned from being an elite gymnast. It felt too hard to write about before, but I'm ready now."

As Maroney continues to share her story, she aims to inspire aspiring gymnasts to pursue their dreams with a positive mindset. 

"Always, always follow your dreams and never give up on them. If you're following your dreams, you're doing something you love and that you believe in yourself for." Maroney said during an interview with Huffington Post. "So many kids are told that they can't do something or they shouldn't do something and it's really sad because it's what they want to do and what they love. But you have to work hard at it; that's the most important thing... I don't want to ever live with regrets so I always do whatever I think that I should do."

Don't Miss

Watch live coverage of the Opening Ceremony on Friday, July 26, on NBC and Peacock beginning at 12 p.m. ET. Telemundo will provide Spanish-language coverage beginning at 1 p.m. ET. Primetime coverage starts at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC and Peacock.

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