When McKayla Maroney first entered the public consciousness she was just a teenager, competing in the 2012 London Olympics. Fast forward four years and Maroney, who turns 21 in December, is all grown up—or as Vince Vaughn from Swingers might say, "She's growns up and she's growns up and she's growns up!" She's so grown up, in fact, that we almost want to jump up on a table in the middle of a diner and proclaim it to everyone in sight: "She's grown up!"
Unfortunately for us, Maroney retired from gymnastics this year, citing injuries and health concerns, which means we won’t be seeing her at the upcoming Rio Olympics. On the bright side, however, since retiring she has become something of a social media celebrity, regularly posting pictures of herself to Instagram—and many of the pictures are quite hot. That’s right, that adorable girl from the 2012 Olympics who caught our attention with her pouty face is now an attractive woman, and she is making sure that everyone knows it.
Here are the top 15 hottest pictures of McKayla Maroney you need to see (okay, maybe you don't need to see them, but we promise your life will be a little bit better for having seen them).
15 Happy 4th, Indeed
Apparently Maroney saw it as her civic duty to post a sexy bikini selfie on Independence Day, as she captured this picture, “Happy 4th,” with an American flag emoji. Nothing could make you more proud to be an American!
All joking aside, Maroney is a great patriot. She represented her country in gymnastics for years, bringing home medals from the Olympics and multiple World Championships. Even though she wasn’t the most decorated US gymnast at the 2012 Games (that distinction goes to Gabby Douglas), she was easily the most popular out of the so-called “Fab Five,” which included teammates Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Kyla Ross, and Jordyn Wieber. Some called them the best US women’s gymnastics team of all time. And it’s no wonder why. Not only did they win the all-around competition, but they also medalled in every event (including Maroney’s silver in vault) except the uneven bars.
14 Health Freak
With this photo, Maroney gives us some insight into how she maintains her Olympic-level figure: healthy smoothies. Captioned, “spend all my money on green smoothies,” we all know that this picture has nothing to do with the drink in her hand, and that it’s merely an excuse for her to show off. Hey, you won’t hear us complaining.
But let’s pretend that this picture actually is about the drink. With that in mind, here are some other foods that Maroney loves to eat: salmon, chicken, salads, vegetables, and fruits. Her motto, according to organicauthority.com, is: “Eat smart. Balance your nutrition. Switch up your meals every day so you don’t get bored eating the same things… Go organic when you can. Don’t eat when you’re not really hungry, and keep portions small.” She forgot to mention, “Take seductive pictures with your food.”
13 Bikini Babe
Since retiring at the ripe old age of 20, Maroney has had a lot of spare time on her hands, which means more time to lounge around the pool soaking up the sun. And with lucrative endorsement deals and celebrity status, Maroney may never have to work (in the conventional sense of the word at least) a day in her life again.
During the 2016 Rio Olympics, Maroney’s made multiple appearances on the morning news show Good Morning America, which might suggest that a career in the entertainment industry is in her future. Perhaps she could follow in the footsteps of fellow former US gymnast Dominique Dawes and become an analyst. Or, as things currently seem to be going, perhaps she will simply become a professional social media celebrity. What a life.
12 Profile Pic
This revealing selfie is Maroney’s current Instagram profile picture. While most of her Instagram posts receive a lot of traffic (usually no less than a few hundred comments and thousands of likes), this particular picture received well over 3,000 comments to go along with nearly 60k likes—and it’s easy to see why.
What more can be said about this picture that isn’t already said in the picture itself? So, instead, here are a few random, unrelated facts about Maroney: She made her acting debut in 2012, playing herself on the TV show Hart of Dixie. She was born and raised in Southern California. She once went out for Halloween dressed as a “dog on acid”—it did not go over well. Speaking of dogs, she had a chocolate lab named Tia Maria. At just 5’3”, Maroney is considered tall for her sport. In fact, she was the tallest girl on the US women’s gymnastics team (for reference, current US gymnast standout Simone Biles is just 4’8”).
Now back to the picture.
11 Lots To Smile About
When she’s not pouting or making the duck face, Maroney has one of the nicest smiles around. And she has a lot to smile about. Not only is she a former Olympic gold medalist, but she’s also got over 1 million followers on Instagram and several high profile endorsement deals, including Adidas Gymnastics and beverage company Dr Pepper Snapple Group, for which she served as the face of their new line of low calorie sodas.
Maroney hopes to have even more to smile about in the near future, as she pursues a career in music. Naming Taylor Swift as one of her musical influences, she describes her sound as “vulnerable pop” and expects to release her debut single any time now. Setting the bar as high as possible, she’s said that she wants to be the female version of Drake.
10 USA! USA!
If this picture doesn’t make you want to stand up and chant, “USA! USA! USA!” then nothing will. Just in time for the 2016 Rio Olympics, Maroney donned short-shorts and a patriotic crop top with her country’s flag on it. McKayla won’t be participating in this year’s Olympics, but that doesn’t mean that she can’t still show her support for her fellow countrymen, which she did by writing: “My girls are competing at Olympic Trials tonight & the 2016 Olympic Gymnastics Team is going to be named this weekend!!... A little more than a year ago I thought I'd be out there with them, but life has a funny way of taking u somewhere u never thought possible. Either way, I'm wishing all u girls the best competitions of ur lives. Hold nothing back, and take every second in. I'm there in spirit, praying for a safe competition, and sending lots of love!”
Following the US’s win in the all-around competition, Maroney tweeted her congrats to Simone Biles, Madison Kocian, Laurie Hernandez, and former teammates Aly Raisman and Gabby Douglas.
9 Gold Medal In Selfies
Despite being considered by many to be the odds-on favorite at the 2012 London Olympics, Maroney did not take home a medal for the individual all-around event, but she did help her team bring home the gold and won a silver medal herself on vault. Still, her performance at the 2012 Games was, by her standards, a disappointment, which she expressed through her now-famous “not impressed” face during the medals ceremony.
Even though she didn’t want the gold, she still won the hearts of people around the world, and now she’s winning the hearts of men around the world, only for an entirely different reason. And with nearly 60k likes, this picture surely helped her win over a few fans, as well. If they gave out medals for selfies, Maroney would be a lock for the gold with this one.
This picture—posted to twitter on Oct 29, 2015 with the caption: “last minute halloween shopping.. #whatsnew can i just be a PG13 gymnast and call it a day”—attracted a ton of attention on social media, for obvious reasons. Her description of the outfit, calling it “PG13,” is appropriate, given that Maroney seems to have taken a turn toward a more PG13 life herself, shedding both clothing and her squeaky clean image.
Her new, more risqué image has come as a shock to many, and has even led to some criticism. But to be fair to Maroney, she is 20 years old (soon to be 21), so it’s to be expected that she does a little self-exploring. Most importantly, Maroney doesn’t seem to mind the criticism, taking the high road and saying to her detractors via Instagram, “Either way, I love you, and wish you the best.”
7 Healthy And Happy
Even though she’s no longer an Olympic athlete, Maroney still likes to keep in shape by exercising—and she likes to look good doing it. In this picture, she’s posing in her athletic gear, presumably after a tough workout. Gymnastics can take a serious toll on a person’s body, and the physical effects of the sport were eventually what led Maroney to retire at such a young age. One of her most severe injuries was a fractured tibia, which she suffered in 2012 after landing awkwardly on a bar routine dismount. She’s also suffered a concussion, a broken nose, and a fractured right toe.
After a career full of injuries, it’s nice to see that Maroney is healthy and happy post-retirement. In a 2014 interview with ESPN, she credited cross-training—running on a treadmill, riding a bike, performing gymnastics-centric moves—with helping her to get back in shape after her tibia fracture, and it’s clear from her most recent pictures that she’s been sticking to her workout regime ever since.
6 Trading In The Leotard
In recent years, Maroney has traded in her gymnastics leotard for more stylish outfits. She often makes unique choices with her wardrobe, such as this nude short/dress combo, which she wore in July on the red carpet of the Tiger Beat Teen Choice Awards Pre-Party in Los Angeles. To compliment the outfit, she wore her hair in loose pigtails, giving her a cute, yet still sexy, look.
In an interview with Teen Vogue back in 2013, Maroney said of her style “outside of the gym” that “[i]t’s a little bit edgy, but casual at the same time. Sort of how Miley Cyrus dresses! I really like crop tops. I like how you can dress them up or down, with jeans or a skirt and heels. I like to be showy and cute. I don't want to be in just a jacket and pants and boots.”
5 CK Model?
Here Maroney took a page out of Sue Ellen Mischke’s playbook by deciding to wear a bra as a shirt. She better be careful, because if she were to wear this outfit in public, it could distract a driver and cause a serious accident. Luckily, as far as we can tell, no one was injured in the making of this picture. However, it’s likely that many men were made quite happy by it.
In interviews, Maroney has claimed that she is pursuing a career in music and acting now that her gymnastics days are over, but judging by pictures like this, we’d say she has a better shot at becoming a model. In fact, this picture is reminiscent of Brooke Shields’s famous “You wanna know what comes between me and my Calvins?” commercial for Calvin Kleins. Could this be Maroney’s unofficial audition to be the new spokesperson for the fashion brand? We’d bet that she’d be every bit as successful as Shields.
It’s no secret that most men love gymnasts. They’re fit and beautiful, but most importantly they’re flexible. They can contort their bodies in ways that the average person wouldn’t dream of trying, unless they wanted to end up in the hospital with a dislocated shoulder and a herniated disc.
In September 2014, Maroney put her flexibility (and her figure) on display in a photo shoot for Adidas’ “MyGirls” photo shoot, wearing bright orange yoga pants and a sports bra. In an accompanying interview for the shoot, Maroney revealed the lengths that she had to go through in order to achieve her Olympian flexibility, saying that she’s in the gym training nearly 24/7. All that hard work has certainly paid off.
Be sure to check out the rest of the pictures from her Adidas photo shoot to see her trademark glare and all of her impressive poses.
3 She's Knows What She's Doing
Here’s the thing about McKayla Maroney: she knows exactly what she’s doing when she takes these kinds of pictures. She tries to play it off all coy, writing innocent captions to her risqué selfies (for example, “It’s my birthday, i’ll sleep in if i want to. #20”), but she’s not fooling anyone—we all know that she loves showing off. And, hey, we’re certainly not complaining. In fact, this little game she plays with her fans—where she pretends to be sharing a harmless photo of herself and we pretend simply to be fans of gymnastics—only adds to the allure of it. But let’s stop the charade for just a moment, can we? The real reason Maroney has over 1 million Instagram followers isn’t just because she’s a former gold medalist; it’s because she’s turned out to be an absolute rocket. There, we said it.
2 First Pitch
On August 1, 2014, Maroney threw out the first pitch at a Chicago White Sox game while wearing formfitting jeans and a jersey tied up around the waist to show off her toned midsection. But Maroney didn’t just throw out the first pitch. First she did a high leg kick, showing off her gymnast’s flexibility, and then she did a cartwheel and a flip before finally tossing a perfect strike.
In their list of the “10 best and worst opening pitches in baseball,” CBS News ranked the former Olympian’s creative first pitch the 5th best, writing, “Tens across the board!” We agree, but we’d go one step further and say that McKayla herself is a perfect 10.
1 Curvy New Look
Recently, Maroney has been photographed out in public showing off her noticeably curvier figure. Some have speculated that perhaps she has gone under the knife, while others argue that she’s simply getting older and therefore maturing. Her new look could also be due to the fact that she no longer competes in gymnastics, which requires a strict diet and exercise regime. Whatever the cause of her thicker figure may be, we like it. And apparently so does she, since she often wears tight or revealing clothes that leave little to the imagination.
In July 2016, Maroney responded to the criticism of her body by writing in an Instagram post: “I totally understand why people are upset about me ‘changing,’ I get it.. but if I can promise you one thing, it's that I will never stop changing. life is all about growing, evolving, and becoming more and more yourself, and these last couple years I've done nothing but that!”