Olympic medalist McKayla Maroney has announced her retirement from elite gymnastics, she announced in an interview with Gymcastic.
“The reason why I wanted to go to this next Olympics – I finally figured it out. I wanted to show people that when everyone else is up against them, they can get through the struggle and the pain and do it because they love something.” Maroney said. “One day I was sitting outside and I was like ‘Why am I doing this? Yeah it’s cool that I want to do it and help inspire people but I didn’t know how to be okay with not being a gymnast. I go to a Starbucks or Jamba Juice or anything and they’re like “Are you going to the next one?’ Until the other day, I was not OK with saying no and I had no choice in my mind with being something else.”
“I’m just ready to put my worth and value into something else,” Maroney added. “I’m just ready to be excited about something else. I just got so bored with being unhealthy.”
Maroney was a member of the “Fierce Five” that won gold in the team event at the 2012 Olympics in London. Maroney also captured silver in the vault, which resulted her photograph on the podium to go viral with her “not impressed” face.
Maroney suffered fractured tibia in her left leg while performing the uneven bars during the 2012 Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions in California.
Maroney turned professional and signed a contract with Adidas in 2013. She made her return at the 2013 Secret U.S. Classic, where she placed first on the vault and third on floor exercise. She also competed at the P&G Championships, where she won gold in the same events.
Maroney was a member of the U.S. team for the 2013 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Antwerp, Belgium, where she performed the floor and finished sixth overall. She also won her second world vault title.
In March 2014, she underwent knee surgery and missed the rest of the season. Maroney also missed the 2015 P&G Championships and world championships, where Olympic teammates Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman returned to action.
Fellow 2012 Olympian Jordyn Weiber announced her retirement in May 2015. Kyla Ross’ also announced her decision to retire earlier in the week.
Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman look to make a run to the 2016 Olympics and become the first women to compete in back-to-back Summer Games since Dominique Dawes and Amy Chow in 1996 and 2000.
In addition to gymnastics, Maroney has also spent her time since the Olympic acting on television.