You might remember McKayla Maroney as the gymnast whose Olympian disappointment spawned the “unimpressed” meme a couple of years ago. Her perfectly frustrated face was deeply relatable – but there’s so much more to Maroney than just a disgruntled look. Her tale of thwarted success, and what happened to her afterwards, is truly captivating.
California girl McKayla Maroney was just 16 years old when she competed in the 2012 London Olympics. In other words, she was representing her country at an international level before she could even legally drink.
And like any Olympian gearing up for the global sporting event, Maroney trained intensively for London 2012. Unfortunately, all of her hard work flared up an old injury – a fracture in her right big toe that hadn’t healed entirely. And that meant that during her amazing vault routines, Maroney was actually in considerable pain. But she persevered. “Bad things happen, you just have to make the best of it,” she told NBC at the time.