2011 world vault champion McKayla Maroney told IG this weekend that she is confident with the upgrades she has been making to boost her all-around prospects for this summer's Olympic Games in London.
McKayla Maroney (U.S.)
"I'm really working on the all-around," said Maroney, who placed 12th all-around in qualifications and competed on two apparatuses in U.S. team's gold medal-winning effort in the team final at last fall's world championships in Tokyo. "That's my main goal and my main priority."
Maroney said she and the other candidates for the U.S. Olympic team are in good form, based on their performances at a recent U.S. team training camp in Texas.
"It's always really fun to see all the girls, and it was a very serious camp," said Maroney, who trains under coaches Galina Marinova and Artur Akopyan at All Olympia Gymnastics Center in Los Angeles. "Everybody is training hard and getting ready for the Olympics. All of the girls are pretty much in 80 percent routine shape, so we're all kind of training our routines that we're going to compete."
Maroney said she has upgrading or stabilizing her performances on all four apparatuses. She recently added an additional half-twist to her second vault, which is now a round-off, half-on, full-twisting layout front somersault (Mustafina).
"I've done (the new second vault) at two (U.S. team training) camps so far, and it's going pretty well," Maroney said. "On bars, I've increased my start value a little bit, and now I'm working on getting things cleaner and ready to compete. I'm doing pretty much the same floor routine as at worlds, and the same beam with a couple more things to add to my start value."
Maroney said finally reaching the Olympic year is the realization of her childhood dream.
"It's so cool, because I remember when I was little, and looking at it like, 'Four more years, three more years...," she said. "When you're younger it's just a number to you, and now to be 2012 and know it's finally here is just amazing."
Maroney was on hand to sign autographs and cue floor exercise music at this weekend's All Olympia Invitational at the Los Angeles Convention Center. She said she enjoyed her uncustomary role as a supportive spectator.
"I really love competing, so it's kind of weird to not be actually competing," she told IG. "But it was really fun to cheer my teammates on. They did a good job and I'm proud of them."
McKayla Maroney is featured in the following issues of International Gymnast magazine:
December 2011 – 2011 World Championships special issue
September 2011 – 2011 U.S. Championships coverage
May 2011 – "It's Showtime" (Maroney profile)
September 2010 – Maroney cover photo, 2010 U.S. Championships coverage
To subscribe to IG Magazine or order back issues, click here.