McKayla Maroney. biography

NAME:McKayla Maroney BIRTH DATE:December 9, 1995 (Age: 19) PLACE OF BIRTH:Long Beach, California

Olympian McKayla Rose Maroney was born on December 9, 1995, in Long Beach, California with the perfect amount of athletic genes inherited from her father, a former Purdue University football quarterback, and her dainty mother.

McKayla started exploring her natural athletic ability through ice-skating, tennis and soccer, before developing a dream of becoming an Olympic gymnast.

When McKayla turned 9-years-old, she and her family relocated to a training club in California that specialized in professional training. Starting out on level 5, McKayla quickly transitioned to level 10 over a few years and made her major competition debut at the Visa Championship in Dallas, Texas at the age of 13. She was ranked 27th in all-around competition while excelling to third place in her future specialty, the vault.

In 2010, McKayla was competing against established gymnasts at the Visa Championships in Hartford, Connecticut and the CoverGirl Classic in Chicago, Illinois, prior to competing overseas and being crowned the World Vault Champion at the 2011 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Japan.

Ensuing an impressive run at the 2012 Olympic Trials held in San Jose, California, McKayla was offered a spot on the U.S. Olympic Women's gymnastics team and soon found herself on the 2012 cover of Sports Illustrated along with her teammates, including her best friend Kyla Ross, Aly Raisman, Gabrielle Douglas and Jordyn Wieber.

There was much hype surrounding the team and McKayla going into the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games, with many predicting her dominance in vault. Once there, the gymnasts secured a team gold medal, but after two partial landings on the vault, McKayla's chances diminished and ultimately won the silver while Sandra Izbasa of Romanian walked away with the gold.

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