McKayla Maroney Revealed She Competed in the 2012 Olympics on a Broken Foot
The gymnast also had a concussion during the London Games.
Former Team USA gymnast and Olympic medalist McKayla Maroney took to her Instagram Stories on August 1st to open up about her experience at the 2012 London Games. Maroney, who was one of the Fierce Five Team USA members and took home an individual silver medal for the 2012 vault event, said she scored her silver with a broken foot, which she says happened because the gymnasts were immediately ushered into training as soon as their flight landed in London ahead of the Games.
"If you want to hear the behind the scenes of what ACTUALLY goes down during the Olympic Gymnastics event finals (specifically vault finals) please go watch my Instagram story," Maroney tweeted on August 1st. "I think a lot of people don't understand how terrible it's set up for athletes."
Before even arriving at the Olympics in London, Maroney said she was still healing from a massive concussion, however, the disgraced Team USA doctor Larry Nassar allowed her to compete and then lied about her broken foot to Team USA coach Márta Károlyi, telling her it was an "old broken toe" rather than a shattered, dislocated sesamoid bone that required a "miracle surgery," Maroney said.
Though Maroney doesn't like blaming others for her injuries, she said in her videos that Károlyi made her practice beam—even though Maroney was never going to compete on the beam—while the gymnast was still jet-lagged. It was during her first round-off that she broke her foot.
"I broke my foot because I was dizzy as hell," Maroney said. "I looked at my coach before the beam routine like, 'Really? You're going to make me get on this thing right now? I feel like shit.'"
Károlyi gave Maroney five days to rest her foot, and if she didn't complete her vault, she would be kicked off the team. Maroney ultimately pushed through the pain, nailed her vault in the team competition, and helped her team a gold. And she did the thing with a severely broken foot. But her broken foot no doubt contributed to her fumble during the vault finals, which resulted in a silver medal (which is still really awesome).
Nassar was convicted in 2018 on charges of child pornography and sexual assault of minors after hundreds of survivors, including Maroney and her Team USA teammates, came forward about how Nassar treated them during their time with Team USA.
Maroney took to Instagram after watching Team USA gymnast Jade Carey fumble her vault routine at the 2021 Tokyo Games over the weekend and explained that Carey likely fell victim to the "terrible setup" in place for athletes competing in vault events.
"It looked like she didn't have her steps correctly," Maroney said, further explaining that gymnasts competing in individual and vault finals have to wait so long that their muscles cool down. "The biggest thing [for an athlete] is staying warm," Maroney said. "If you're not warm, your gymnastics is going to be completely different." There's a lot more at play in individual and vault finals than just "choking" when up at bat, she continued.
Maroney said in her videos that she plans to detail her entire experience with the Olympic Games in a tell-all book—if no one else on the inside will be transparent about what happens behind the scenes, she will.