Retired Gymnast McKayla Maroney first captured the world’s attention at the 2012 Olympic Games, which were held in London, England. At the games, she was a member of a collection of highly touted American gymnasts known as the “Fierce Five.” In fact, Maroney is actually credited with coming up with the name.
Her Olympic gold and silver medals became almost an afterthought when the former gymnast became an overnight sensation with her, now famous, “not impressed” facial expression. The expression became the subject of countless memes, months after the games had ended. In fact, the “not impressed” face is still remembered fondly by many who watched the games, or just simply got a kick out the memes.
Maroney would go on to have continued success following the London Games, before ultimately deciding to retire from the sport of gymnastics in early 2016.
Now 21 years of age, the former vault champ is all grown up. Moreover, she has remained in the news, due in large part to her social media activities, which include posting somewhat risqué photos on her Instagram account. As one might imagine, this has generated a bit of controversy given her status as a role model for young folks.
Maroney’s story in an interesting one, which is full of ups and downs.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at 8 photos she would love for her fans to see and 7 she would probably prefer they didn’t.
15 Does: Risque Instagram Photos
The article’s introduction alluded to the fact that McKayla Maroney isn’t shy about posting provocative photos on her social media accounts, most notably Instagram. The image shown here is a great example of the type of pics one can expect to see, should they decide to follow the former gold medalist.
Regardless of what folks may think, of a young former Olympian posting these types of images, it’s defiantly getting her plenty of attention. In fact, Maroney has an impressive 1.6 million Instagram followers. It’s amazing the former gymnast can still generate that kind of interest, over 5 years removed from the height of her Olympic fame. Her Instagram page indicates that she is pursuing a career in music, so it’s possible she is trying to use sex appeal to generate an audience to eventually share her tunes with.
14 Doesn't: Leaked Photos
The infamous iCloud celebrity photo leak of 2014, was without question, a gross invasion of privacy. Roughly 500 photos, most of which featured nude celebrities, were shared with the general public on various websites throughout the internet. Apparently, hackers had gained access to the images by utilizing what are known as phishing attacks. Many big name celebrities had their pictures taken and shared, without their consent.
Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, and soccer star Hope Solo were just a few of the stars who had their private pics shown to the world. However, McKayla Maroney’s leaked photos were the most controversial. This is because the former “Fierce Five” member was allegedly a minor at the time her photos were taken, this making the perpetrator's actions all the more heinous.
13 Does: Not Impressed
This picture shows the exact moment that McKayla Maroney became a pop culture icon. The 5-foot-3 native of Long Beach, California captured the world's attention when she made her (now) signature “not impressed” face. This has just after being awarded the silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics. As we can see from the image, Maroney was “not impressed” with the young lady who ended up winning the gold.
This particular image became popular, seemingly overnight, and even went viral after it was super imposed on several famous images. There was even a popular image of Maroney standing on the Great Wall of China, with Jamaican runner Usain Bolt, while making the face. The former gymnast’s famous expression even landed her a spot on The Late Show with David Letterman and The Colbert Report.
12 Doesn't: Lip Injection Rumors
It’s clear that McKayla Maroney looks a bit different than she did when she rose to fame back in 2012. That being said, she was only a teenager during her Olympic run, so it's understandable that the 21-year-old’s appearance has changed. One area that has been the focus of controversy is the former Olympian’s full lips. In fact, there were even rumors that Maroney had received lip injections.
In a July 2016 interview, Seventeen.com asked her what she wanted to say the public regarding the rumors. Maroney candidly replied, “Right! First of all, that I haven't. And I've posted a picture on Instagram last night that was like, how do I make my face look like I didn't do anything to my face when I literally have not done anything to my face?” Apparently, based on her response, the rumors appear to be unfounded.
11 Does: Racy Dancing Video
This is an incident that folks might expect to find on the“doesn’t want you to see” portion of our article; however, that’s not the case. Back in May of 2017, a video clip was released on Instagram. The clip showed the former gymnast dancing around in a red shirt and black thong underwear (as pictured above). Many folks thought the gold medalist had been hacked, since she had previously been a victim of the infamous 2014 icloud leaks.
As it turns out, it was Maroney herself who posted the photo on her Instagram account. According to TMZ, the Olympic standout was quoted as saying, "I didn't get hacked. Unfollow if u need to. All love." Based on the quote, it’s fair to say that this is an image McKayla Maroney does want you to see.
10 Doesn’t: Failing To Capture The Gold
Heading into the Olympics, McKayla Maroney has a heavy favorite to win the gold on the vault. In truth, it was the primary reason she made the team and became a member of the “Fierce Five.” Unfortunately, the 5-foot-3 gymnast was unable to stick the landing and fell on her backside (as seen in the photo). Despite the fall, Maroney still nearly won the gold, due to the level of difficulty involved with the jump she performed.
It was a female gymnast named Sandra Izbasa of Romania who ended up capturing gold at the 2012 Games. This event was the catalyst for the famous “not impressed” face, which she made when receiving her silver medal for the event. If Maroney had been able to land perfectly, the world may have been denied some very funny memes, though she likely would have preferred to win the gold.
9 Does: Meeting The President
One of the most famous photos of McKayla Maroney doing her “not impressed” face, was taken with (then) President Barrack Obama. Apparently, the former Commander and Chief couldn’t resist the opportunity to get his photo taken with the famous gymnast.
Seventeen.com even asked Maroney (in July of 2016) if she did the face with Obama. Maroney replied, “Yes! He came up to me and he was like, 'Being the president, I'm not impressed all the time. Every day, I have something that comes up that just doesn't impress me.' And he was like, 'Can I do the face with you?' By that time, I didn't even know, I had no words. I was like, 'Of course! Yes!'” Meeting the president was definitely a career highlight for McKayla Maroney.
8 Doesn't: Battling Injuries
Gymnastics is a tough sport, which certainly takes its toll on the human body. Unfortunately, McKayla Maroney suffered multiple injuries over the course of her career. After the London Games, in September of 2012, Maroney landed awkwardly while dismounting for the uneven bars at the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions in Ontario, California. An MRI would later show that the California native had fractured the tibia in her left leg.
While it isn’t clear exactly what the injury was that caused it (possibly just wear and tear over time), McKayla Maroney underwent knee surgery back in March of 2014. Apparently, retirement wasn’t on her mind at this point, as the gymnast told International Gymnast Magazine that she was planning to upgrade her already extremely difficult vaults. The injuries had to have been frustrating set backs.
7 Does: Winning Team Gold
While McKayla Maroney failed to capture an individual gold medal on the vault, she was able to take home team gold, along with the four other members of the Fierce Five. Besides Maroney, the Fierce Five was made up of Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, Jordyn Wieber, and Kyla Ross. The group was originally going to call themselves the Fab Five. However, Maroney and Jordyn Wieber informed their teammates that the name had already been used by a group of University of Michigan basketball players, and convinced them to go with the Fierce Five instead.
Whatever it is they liked to be called, they will always be known as champions, after winning the gold at the 2012 Games. This was defiantly one of Maroney’s career highlights.
6 Doesn’t: Struggling With Adrenal Fatigue
In a YouTube interview, which was conducted back in March of 2015, Maroney stated that she had been battling what is known as adrenal fatigue. There are probably more than a few readers out there, wondering what adrenal fatigue is, exactly.
Adrenal fatigue, which is also commonly referred hypoadrenia, is a non-scientific term that basically means one’s adrenal glands are exhausted. The glands are unable to produce hormones which can be due to either infection, or often times chronic stress, when a person is experiencing the condition. While the term was coined by a chiropractor back in 1998, there is no actual scientific evidence the condition actually exists. That being said, there are still numerous dietary supplements that claim to help with the condition. It kind of sounds like Maroney may have just been really worn out from competing over the years.
5 Does: Winning Vault World Championship
Before becoming an Olympic star, McKayla Maroney made a name for herself at the 2011 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, which were held in Tokyo, Japan. It was at this prestigious event that the young gymnast won a gold medal in the vault competition. She posted an impressive score of 15.300. Her showing at the event helped contribute to winning team gold, for her and other team USA members as well.
This is the event that helped Maroney establish herself as a vault specialists, which was the primary reason she was selected as a member of the 2012 Olympic team for the United States. German gymnast Oksana Chusovitina took home a silver medal for her vaulting abilities, while Phan Thi Ha Thanh of Vietnam took home the bronze. This is an event where Maroney really shined.
4 Doesn’t: Implant Rumors
Anyone who follows McKayla Maroney on social media can likely attest to the fact that the retired gymnast has a very prominent rear end. Moreover, the 21-year-old hasn’t been shy about sharing it with the world, in both pictures, as well as videos. As a result, rumors began to circulate that Maroney may have had her bottom enhanced.
When the former gymnast released her controversial Instagram post, which showed her dancing in a thong, people began to wonder if her backside had been altered. Of course, the former Olympian is no stranger to this type of controversy, as she was also accused of having her lips enhanced awhile back. However, it’s also quite possible that her prominent lower half is the result of the Olympic level gymnastics training she has done over the years. In any case, it’s fair to say that Maroney probably wishes the rumors would go away.
3 Does: Defending Vault World Champion
At the 2013 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, which were held in Antwerp, Belgium; Maroney hoped to defend the vault world title, which she had captured back in 2011. She posted an impressive score of 15.724 on her vault jump and successively defended her title; by doing so, she made history by becoming the first America to defend her gold medal. Her vault score helped her defeat the likes of teammate Simone Biles, who placed 2nd in the event. North Korea’s Hong Un-Jong rounded out the field by winning the bronze.
Though she didn’t know it at the time, The 2013 World Championships would end up being the last time she performed in a competitive routine. It was after this event that Maroney claimed to suffer from adrenal fatigue; still, it’s nice to go out on top.
2 Doesn’t: Announcing Retirement
It’s often a sad time, but it happens at some point in every athlete’s career. Sooner or later, even the best competitors are forced to call it quits. For McKayla Maroney, that time came on February 24, 2016. The injuries, which were mentioned in this very article, began to mount and the young gymnast was forced to retire at just 20 years of age. While 20 may seem young for a lot of sports, most female gymnasts peak in their teens, so it may not be as bad as it sounds.
These days, the former Olympian has expressed interest in pursuing a music career, citing musician Drake as one of her inspirations. While Maroney may go on to become a successful singer, she still likely wishes her career didn’t end due to health-related issues.
1 Does: Acting Career
McKayla Maroney is famous for being a world class gymnast. However, she has also had some success as an actress. She appeared in multiple television shows in recent years. In 2013 she starred in the Fox crime procedural drama Bones. She played the role of Ellie in an episode entitled “The Spark in the Park.” Ellie was a character who was suspected of murdering a fellow gymnast on the show. In 2016 she played herself in the NBC sitcom Superstore.
The appearances on Bones and Superstore were certainly memorable. However, Maroney is probably best known (as an actress anyway) for her reoccurring role on The CW’s comedy-drama entitled Hart of Dixie. She played the role of Tonya and appeared on Hart of Dixie six times between 2012-15.