McKayla Face No More: Former Olympic Gymnast McKayla Maroney Retiring
To be fair, she doesn’t like the word retire though.
“I don’t want anybody to ever think that McKayla is retiring. I don’t even want people to use that word,” Maroney said in a GymCastic podcast interview from October, published finally on Wednesday. “The only difference is I’m not competing anymore.”
— Cedar Posts (@CedarPosts) February 24, 2016
Her agent confirmed the news Wednesday.
Maroney, who has dealt with a number of injuries over the years including a concussion, a broken toe, and a fractured shin, hasn’t actually competed since 2013, when she won vault in the World Championships over Simone Biles. But it was her disappointed look after getting silver in the 2012 London Olympics—after an uncharacteristic fall on her vault final—that set the meme world into a frenzy.
— Amber Leigh Turner (@amberlturner) November 17, 2012
“I remember doing the face for literally two seconds,” Maroney said of her now infamous look. “Like, if you watch the video, it’s two seconds. And I remember thinking, did I just make a face? Because it’s natural. I do it all the time. I have pictures of me when I’m little doing it. I have it on my Mac computer when I’m like 13.”
She reportedly broke down in the mixed zone speaking with reporters after the competition, her eye makeup running down her face.
“I couldn’t sleep for five days after,” she said. “The fall just kept repeating in my head.
“If you ask me if I could go back and win a gold, I would say, no thank you. I love my silver medal, and I love what’s happened, and it’s made me a stronger person.”
Maroney said in October that she’s now interested in a music career singing and playing instruments, which was confirmed by her agent Wednesday. She’s the third of five U.S. members of the 2012 Olympic Champion Gymnastics team to retire.