Who doesn't love the adorable McKayla Maroney? The former USA gymnast captured the hearts of millions as she took home two medals from the 2012 Summer Olympics in Rio. More popularly, her face is now recognized around the world for her famous 'McKayla is not impressed' meme. Rather than fading away in embarrassment, Maroney capitalized on her growing celebrity and used her powers for good!
Although, after breaking her leg in 2012 and going through knee complications the following years, McKayla called it quits in the gymnastics world in 2016. Since she's retired, McKayla has tried her hand in different endeavors, as she clearly just doesn't want to be remembered for being an amazing athlete. Some of her actions have caused people to roll their eyes, or place shame on her, but she has undergone some traumatic events, making it understandable for her to separate herself from her past. And her recent role in addressing all the allegations against USA Gymnastics was key in justice being carried out. While you may not see her on the television screen anymore - TheSportster has you covered. Hopefully, you are not 'unimpressed' with 15 things McKayla Maroney has done since retiring from gymnastics.
On February 2016, fans across the globe were stunned when McKayla officially retired from competition. Although she suffered a littany of injuries after the London Games in 2012, it was a shock to see Maroney leave the sport at only 20-years-old. Announcing her departure from USA Gymnastics in an interview with the aptly-name Gymnastic, Maroney stated:
“I'm just ready to be excited about something else. I just got so bored with being unhealthy.”
It was time for her to vault into the real-world; something that she had been sheltered from for so long!
You've gotta hand it to the girl though: she endured some mind-altering hardships in the past (don't worry, we'll get to them) yet emerged in control of her own destiny. Touche McKayla, let's take a look how you've been spending your days.
14 Hitting The Recording Studio
A few months after hanging-up her glittery onesie, McKayla decided it was time to follow her dream of getting into the music business. In July 2016, the former gymnast took to Instagram to announce that she had been working on an album for over a year!
Per Maroney, she struggled at the beginning, searching for a sound of her own, even telling Seventeen that her “biggest inspiration is Drake.” Although, fans will probably have to wait until her she's actually a successful artist for a Drake collaboration to happen.
Her hit single "Ghost" was supposed to drop in September 2016, but it must not have done well, since we've never heard of it.
You never know though, Mckayla could team-up with Drizzy for the remix "Hotline meme!" Luckily, the gold medalist has more skills up her sleeve.
13 Supported Her Fellow Olympians
Wherever you are in the world - in this moment - we are all Team USA fans. Since she retired from gymnastics, Maroney never made the trip down to Rio for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Still, she took to Instagram to show-off her short jean-shorts, yellow manicure and patriotic tube-top, supporting her former teammates who were finishing up Olympic trials.
As you can see from this pic, McKayla has gone from 'not impressed' to 'damn she's impressive' in a short four years since her famous meme days. We always forget that these athletes are growing up right before our eyes. Yet, it seems that she grew-up a little too fast, prompting critics to question if she had any extra 'enhancements.' We'll get more into that subject later!
12 Surrendered Top Olympic Meme Status
If you are a regular here at the TheSportster, skip ahead to the next paragraph, since you've probably read Maroney's meme origin a dozen times. But for those of you that just now emerged from underneath your rock, the 'McKayla is not impressed' meme stems from her displeasure in London when the Russians took Gold in the vault instead of her. The stunning athlete capitalized on her fame rather than drowning in it.
During the 2016 Games, the internet found a new Olympic meme with Michael Phelps' death stare.
The best swimmer of all-time was prepping for a race against his rival, Chad le Clos of South Africa, while pumping the tunes with a face that was lost in determination! Maroney went on to post a video thanking Phleps, as she finally was off the hook as meme queen!
11 Selfie Queen
While no longer the meme queen, Maroney is definitely the selfie queen. From simple portraits, to bathroom mirror selfies, to the 'I only put on this outfit to take a picture' albums, Maroney was active on Instagram after retiring. Although, it seems that the voluptuous beauty had enough of the virtual ogles and occasional trolling, as she took a five-week hiatus from the social media site in the summer of 2017.
Still, this is pretty common for most celebrities. Maroney has said that she needs to take a break from Instagram sometimes and that it's 'It's purely for my own sanity, and happiness.' Recently though, she has been a long leave-of-absence from the site, most likely due to the public nature of her testimony against former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. Again, you're probably sick of all these teases, but just continue reading and you'll find out everything you need to know!
10 Suffered A Bad Car Accident
We now know why Maroney was a member of the 'Fierce Five,' not part of the movie Fast Five. Okay, lame joke aside, the former gymnast got into a 'pretty serious car accident' while cruising around with some friends in LA. While McKayla wasn't severely injured, and no drugs or alcohol were suspected at the incident, she does put a positive spin on an otherwise scary situation.
"...It seriously got me thinking how quick ur life can be taken from u..."
The gymnast continued to discuss embracing the moment and pursuing your "pure passion." You know - the typical 'I saw the light' experience that invigorates people to fulfill their destiny? Alright, that's a little too cynical, and we are just happy to tell you that Maroney's health is great!
9 Celebrated Her 21st Birthday!
Shots! Shots! Shots! Do any of you guys remember your 21st birthday? Because if so, you definitely did it wrong! On December 9th, 2016, the two-time Olympic medalist was finally of legal drinking age (in the USA of course), allowing her to drown away her sorrows at any of the country's finest establishments! Donned in what we imagine was a low-cut, tight cocktail dress, Maroney probably threw back a few flavored-vodka shots and danced the night away with her gal pals.
We'd like to give you the full scoop on the birthday girl's party itinerary, but come on - do you really need us to dig into the little details?
Just be happy that she turned 21 so you aren't playing with fire searching up her jail-bait, illegally leaked nude pictures anymore!
An athlete, model, singer...and now an actress? Well, the singing is clearly up for debate, but it looks like Maroney's film career is relatively successful. After her 2012 Olympic fame, the gymnast toured around the Talk-Show circuits. While engaging audiences with her glowing personality, McKayla always left viewers with her famous pursed-lips look.
In the process, we're sure she pocketed enough change to fill a life-size piggy bank.
Maroney transferred to the television screen after her late-night success. According to her IMDB page, she's made a cameo in Bones as well as played the recurring character, Tonya, in six episodes of the CW series, Hart of Dixie. Most recently, she joined the cast of the comedy show, Superstore, appearing in a 2016 episode about the Olympics. Since then, she's focused on other aspects of her portfolio, but it looks like the silver screen is Maroney's safety blanket.
7 New Lips?
We've all seen Maroney's displeased facial expression and those plump limps in this photo are definitely not the same ones from the London Olympics! A few months after retiring, the former gymnast was posting like a fiend on Instagram, leaving critics to question if her newfound look was indeed genuine. Trolls hopped onto their laptops and slammed Maroney, alleging that she underwent a lip injection procedure, among other beauty alterations. Honestly though, can you blame them?
Since the hate posts on Instagram, Maroney has defended her look as all-natural.
She told Seventeen that she was using some new make-up tricks and it was all part of growing into a woman. This is a tricky situation since Maroney should be given the benefit of the doubt, but the difference in lip thickness over a few short months is overwhelming.
6 More Enhancements?
But, lips weren't the only body part that Maroney was rumored to have enhanced. Remember her 'intense car accident' back in the summer of 2017 (number 10)? Well, when she returned to social media, her over one million followers were gifted with a picture showcasing a suspicious amount of cleavage. Could it be that her car accident was just an excuse to recover post-op from a breast augmentation?
The jury is still out onto the truthful answer to that question, but who cares? It's much more attractive when a woman is comfortable with her own body: real or enhanced. Whichever way you look at it, aside from the current USA gymnastics scandal, it seems that Maroney is fairly happy. Just lay off the girl and leave us with the commentary!
5 Dat Thong Thong Thong Thong Thong
No, that's not a lookalike! In May 2017, Maroney welcomed her fans into the summer with a barely-clothed video of her dancing around in a tight-black thong. For those of you in a place where you can't look up the video, I'll give you a quick rundown. After hitting record, Maroney steps back, toying with hair in the camera. She then proceeds to turn, exposing her vault-booty in three-subtle hitches. After that, she quickly twirls as her unkempt hair whips through the air. That's it - it's just seven seconds long. What else did you expect!
After the video got 800,000 views in a day, sheltered followers claimed that Maroney's account got hacked! But, the former gymnast took to Twitter stating...
"i didn't get hacked. unfollow if you need to. all love"
Whether the video was too risque or not, it turned plenty of heads!
4 Not A Role Model?
Continuing on with the racy video, after Maroney's admittance to willingly posting the brief, semi-nude clip, many fans were still outraged. Many claimed that they looked-up to the Olympic champion, aspiring to chase the same dream that she had. The more conservative audience was concerned that their children would emulate McKayla's behavior, and that tainting her image with soft-core vids would tarnish their children's image of reality. Whatever the criticism may have been, McKalya gave 'zero fs' - literally.
not everyone's gona like u, but if u stay true to yourself they might just respect you— mckayla (@McKaylaMaroney) May 14, 2017
The critics are probably going to need some ice for that burn! Although the video may have felt too suggestive for some, what better traits in a female role model than being strong, decisive, and honest? Keep up the good work McKayla and don't let the haters cramp your style!
3 But Definitely A Model
Okay, even if you don't think Maroney is a role model, she is an actual model. As you have seen from the multitude of pictures from her Instagram, the steamy retired athlete is taking her personal brand to the next level! She is probably even making five figures per post! While she's not on Kardashian level (who have been rumored to make $250,000 per post), we think that Maroney is on her way there.
Social media isn't the only platform that you can catch a glimpse of the three-time World Champions face. During her tenure in USA Gymnastics, Maroney graced the cover of several magazines, showcasing her personality through a simple smile. While today she may not be on archaic print media as much, I'm sure you could find her face if you scavenged the tabloid stand long enough!
2 Suing USA Gymnastics
Now to one of the biggest, if not the biggest scandal, in USA Olympic history. Former USA Gymnastic team doctor, Larry Nassar, was convicted of abusing hundreds of young gymnasts over several decades. Maroney was sadly one of the victims of this pervert's scheme. It was a truly shocking ordeal, leaving the gymnastics world, and the country, in shambles.
Still, the end is not near, as more cases like Maroney's come forward. That's because it appears USA Gymnastics had a cover-up scheme in place that would prevent victims from coming forward. So, Maroney took the lead and sued the committee, claiming the alleged non-disclosure agreement was trying to prevent woman (and now one man) from testifying against Nassar. While it could have been either for financial gain or shear principal, Maroney stuck the landing with this lawsuit - exuding her courage and bravery through the entire ordeal.
1 Maroney's True Bravery
As we come to a close on this beautiful lady, we can't help but spotlight her true bravery, not her looks, with the number one spot. Not only did she gather the courage to retire early from gymnastics to pursue her dreams, but she was open and honest every step of the way.
When it comes to the Nassar case, we wanted to give you the most updated details on the case at the end. With the help of Maroney's written statement and the rest of her strong teammates's testimonies, the judge sentenced Nassar to 175 years behind bars. In USA Gymnastics, the board members, coaches, and other staff have resigned. At Michigan State University, where the abuse took place, many higher-ups have stepped down, and it seems that more resignations are on the way.
These courageous women went against the corrupt organization they grew up with to expose an abusive deviant. Hundreds of amazing athletes poured their hearts out over the past few months, and will still have to cope with the abuse they faced at the hands of this monster. While condolences do nothing, we hope Maroney and all the victims take solace in the fact that it's their heroic personalities that make them Olympians, not their athletic prowess.