McKayla Maroney will not have the chance to spotlight her full skill set at the London Games, but she is still more than just a one-trick pony.
An injured big toe will prevent the 16-year-old from taking on a heavy workload in the Olympic Games. While Maroney is no longer competing on the balance beam, uneven bars or floor exercise, she will still look to win gold in the vault.
Although the prized gymnast will not demonstrate her full capabilities this summer, here is a look at how Maroney fares in her strongest events.
4. Balance Beam
While not her best event, Maroney can hold her own on the balance beam.
During the Olympic Trials, Maroney finished 10th with a score of 28.65. Last year, Maroney earned sixth place on the beam in the CoverGirl Classic.
A medal likely was not in Maroney’s sights before hurting her toe, but she could have performed respectively if given the chance.
3. All Around Competition
The young athlete is a well-rounded gymnast who can do a little of everything in all around competition.
Maroney sealed a seventh-place finish during the all-around trials and claimed fourth place in a recent event this year at Jesolo, Italy.
Not too bad for a high school sophomore.
Maroney described the floor as her favorite event “because it’s the only event that you can really express yourself.”
Then again, she also listed Keeping Up with the Kardashians as one of her favorite TV shows, so how much can we really trust her?
During the trials, Maroney finished in fifth, four spots ahead of her replacement, Kyla Ross. She also took home the gold with a remarkable showing at the 2010 Pan American Championships.
Still, seeing her proclaim the floor as her favorite competition was a tad bit unexpected considering how much she dominates her main event.
This is where Maroney makes her living. Well, she’s still only 16, but you get the point.
While Gabby Douglas and Jordyn Wieber receive most of the attention regarding Team USA, the team rests their hopes on Maroney capturing the gold medal in the vault.
Maroney edged out her teammates during the Olympic Trials, leading the pack with a 31.70 score. Even with injury concerns, Maroney—the reigning world champion—enters the event as the favorite.
A first-place finish in qualifiers solidified her spot as the woman to beat while propelling Team USA to the top.
NBC analyst Tim Daggett raved about Maroney’s vaulting abilities in the Los Angeles Daily News.
“She’s at least two feet higher than anyone else in the world. The most impressive piece of gymnastics at that entire world championships for men and women would be (Maroney) on vault. It’s just jaw-dropping great.”
Watch the video above to see just how high she can elevate while maintaining full control. Maroney’s vaulting talents are truly special and should lead her to the podium at the London Games.