IG Online kicks off its annual holiday series with a feature on gymnastics superstar McKayla Maroney, the 2011 world champion on vault and double medalist from the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
Recovering from recent surgery on her left tibia, Olympic gold and silver medalist McKayla Maroney told IG that her holiday plans include spending Christmas with her family and riding in the famed Rose Bowl Parade on New Year’s Day.
McKayla Maroney (U.S.)
Maroney has enjoyed several months of touring and media attention since she won a team gold medal and vault silver medal at this summer’s London Olympic Games. She attended Saturday’s holiday show at All Olympia Gymnastics Center in Los Angeles, where she trains under coaches Galina Marinova and Artur Akopyan.
Because of her injury, Maroney did not perform in the show, but signed autographs and posed for photos with participants and fans.
Maroney, who turned 17 on Dec. 9, said she and her family are already in the holiday spirit.
"We got our Christmas tree, of course," she said. "That’s something we always do as a family. We go and spend about an hour trying to pick out the perfect tree. Ours is 13 feet. It’s huge and perfect, and we love it. We decorated it together, and I put up a great picture of my brother, sister and me. It’s really cute."
Maroney, her younger siblings and their parents always celebrate Christmas Day together.
"On Christmas morning we pretty much just wake up and open presents from Santa," she said, noting that her sister is 6 years old. "We have a lot of fun and some family time."
Maroney and Olympic teammate Kyla Ross, a fellow Southern Californian, will ride in the first float ("it's ginormous!") at the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena on New Year's Day, which coincides with Maroney's parents' wedding anniversary.
Eager to return to training and competition in 2013, Maroney said her New Year’s resolution is to remain determined and focused on her goals.
"It's probably to always follow my heart and never give up on something I want till I go for it," she told IG. "That’s pretty much always my resolution – to follow my dreams."
Read an in-depth interview with Maroney in the January/February 2013 issue of International Gymnast magazine, and "Focus Forward," IG's cover story/interview with Ross, in the November 2012 issue of IG. To subscribe or order back issues, click here.