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American Former Gymnast Mckayla Maroney Wishes She Had Done Things Different Looking Back At Her Career

Mckayla Maroney turned senior in 2011, where she became the World champion on vault.  The following year, she was named to the US London Oly...

Mckayla Maroney turned senior in 2011, where she became the World champion on vault. 

The following year, she was named to the US London Olympic team. There, she contributed a vault score of 16.233 toward the American team's first-place finish, the highest score in the competition in any event.

She qualified first in the vault final, but took silver after unexpectedly falling on her second vault ending her 33-vault hitting streak in competition.

Maroney continued competing after the Olympics. She participated at the 2013 World championships, where she successfully defended her vault title.

It was the last competitive routine of her career. She announced her retirement in 2016 due to health issues preceding and following the 2012 Olympic Games.

"Looking back at my career, I wish I did a lot of things different. I wish I didn’t come back so fast after the Olympics. I wish I would’ve rested for a full year instead of getting 3 surgeries, screws in my tibia, and foot, and heading right back to a World Championships that next season. 🤦‍♀️ I had nobody telling me otherwise so I just didn’t know any better," the American former gymnast wrote in an Instagram post.

In early 2012, Maroney was taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a minor concussion and nasal fracture after falling on a tumbling pass on floor landing on her back during Visa championships podium training.

During training in London, she broke her entire right foot but continued competing after team doctor Larry Nassar - who was later convicted of sexual assault after hundreds of women, including Maroney, accused him of sexual abuse - lied to the coach about it.

Later that year, she injured her left foot while dismounting the bars at the Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions.

"I haven’t talked about it much, but I completely burnt out after 2013 world championships. I went from training 8 hours a day, to not being able to get out of bed with fatigue. I was having panic attacks everyday because I felt so bad about missing practice. I didn’t know what was wrong with me," she continued.

"I tried for two years to get healthy, but I’d get back in the gym for a month, and then get sick again. 😔"

In 2015, she uploaded a video on Youtube revealing her struggle with mental illness.

"There were A LOT of layers to what I was going through, and it took about 7 years to get fully through it."

"Now I know a lot of my health issues were connected to the abuse that was happening in the sport. My body just decided NO MORE, before I could. It broke my heart to walk away from the sport, but honestly that’s life!"

After her retirement, Maroney heavily criticized her coaches, Artur Akopyan and Galina Marinova, for their treatment of their gymnasts which contributed to her mental health problems stressing that they have messed her up 'so badly'.

"We all have to walk away from things sometimes.We all have to take L’s, eat humble pie, learn some things the hard way, and make some heavy life altering decisions."

"Sometimes the chapter closes before you’re ready, and you still have to jump."

"I just want to say… It’s ok to look back, and have regrets. It’s ok to notice where you could’ve done better, and cringe at past decisions lol. That’s just part of growing up. We do better when we know better."

"It’s how well we absorb those lessons, forgive what we didn’t know, and implement them moving forward that really matters. Even if you feel lost, stuck, or like things will never get better — Do not give up on yourself. Ever. Continue to fight for yourself, and your happiness, things can get better."

Last year, Maroney wrote a series of tweets condemning USA Gymnastics for their failure in protecting their gymnasts from sexual abuse revealing horrific and gruesome details.

Photo: Maroney/Instagram

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