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Bone Fracture Helped McKayla Maroney Land Role on 'Bones'
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World and Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney told IG it was her recent injury-forced downtime that allowed her to play a gymnast suspected of murder on a recent episode of FOX's hit show "Bones." Pictured: Maroney (left) with actress Emily Deschanel and actor David Boreanaz (at right) in a scene from the Dec. 6 episode, "The Spark In The Park."

World and Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney told IG it was her recent injury-forced downtime that allowed her to play a gymnast suspected of murder on a recent episode of FOX's hit show "Bones."

"The plot is that this girl was killed, and they're wondering if it was the dad, the coach or me or this other girl who did it," Maroney said of the episode that aired Dec. 6. "Nobody really knew how she died. It's a really good episode. It's a little dark."

Now in its ninth season, the show stars Emily Deschanel as forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan, who teams up with FBI agent David Boreanaz to solve crimes based on skeletal evidence.

Maroney, who has appeared in a recurring role on three episodes of the comedy-drama series "Hart of Dixie," said her agent called to advise her of the "Bones" role while she was recovering from an avulsion fracture to her right patella.

"It's really hard when you can't do anything at the gym, because I love gymnastics so much," said Maroney, who trains under coaches Artur Akopyan and Galina Marinova at All Olympia Gymnastics Center in Los Angeles. "You get depressed because you're like, 'Everybody's working and I'm here sitting.' I feel for all gymnasts who get hurt. Injuries are just awful, but at least I had 'Bones' to work on when I wasn't training. It got my mind off the fact that I couldn't do anything."

Maroney said she had to audition for "Bones" as would any other actress, and she got the part despite auditioning with strep.

"There were other girls who wanted the part, actresses who were no longer gymnasts," said Maroney, who won vault at the 2011 and 2013 worlds and placed second on vault at the 2012 Olympic Games. 'There was a big room and I walked in and it was like, 'McKayla!' and I was like, 'Hi, I'm auditioning for the part, too.'"

Maroney said she enjoyed her scenes in the episode, entitled "The Spark In The Park," which required numerous takes in order to capture reactions of all of the actors in them. The gymnastics scenes also included former elites and NCAA stars Vanessa Zamarippa and Kristina Baskett as stunt performers.

"You have to do things from every single angle," she said. "There were five actors in the shot, and you have to make sure you get a close-up of each person's face. So that means you have to do a scene for every single person. They would have a scene for me so they would watch me tumble, and then they would have my face for the whole time while I'm talking to them. And they have to get shots from each of them, and then from the outside."

Maroney, who resumed training last week, said she looks forward to strengthening her all-around program in 2014.

While her work on "Bones" did not require her to perform difficult skills, she said she needed endurance to complete "at least" 70 takes of her tumbling pass that ended with a layout back somersault.

"It's like gymnastics," Maroney told IG. "You do it over and over and over again. People were asking me things like, 'Why didn't you do a double layout or something?' And I was like, 'Because I'm not going to do a double layout 70 times!'"

Flip over to to see video outtakes and extras from the filming of the "Spark in the Park" episode featuring Maroney!

McKayla Maroney is featured in the following issues of International Gymnast magazine:

2013 World Championships special issue (November 2013)
2013 U.S. Championships coverage (September 2013)
"Maroney on the Mend" – interview (January/February 2013)
2012 Olympic Games special issue (September 2012)
2012 U.S. Olympic Trials coverage, 2012 Olympics preview (July/August 2012)
2011 World Championships special issue (December 2011)
2011 U.S. Championships coverage (September 2011)
"It's Showtime for Maroney" – Maroney profile (May 2011)
Maroney on cover photo collage, 2010 U.S. Championships coverage (September 2010)

To subscribe or order back issues, click here.

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