McKayla Maroney Says She Had to ‘Fake It’ Till She Made It at 2012 Olympics

by Samantha Whidden

Following fellow Team USA teammate Simone Biles’ decision to withdraw from the team and individual gymnastics events at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, McKayla Maroney took to her Instagram to share more details about her experience with struggling mentally during the iconic sporting event. 

“From a young age, I was taught to work hard and persevere. Gymnastics taught me to be tough, resilient, and to overcome all obstacles,” McKayla Maroney explained in the post. She then describes herself as a positive person who leans more towards optimism. 

“So calling out abusers, and dwelling on all the dark negative pieces of my past felt extremely wrong for men” McKayla Maroney admits. “I hated the depressing tone my life took on and how the media portrayed me.”

McKayla Maroney also says she never wants to be a victim. She just wants Larry Nassar to be accountable for his actions. Nassar was Team USA Gymnastics doctor who abused her and several other members of the team. “I wanted to MOVE ON, and go back to being myself. But I needed to learn the power of my voice, boundaries, and WHEN to be resilient.”

McKayla then says that she relates to Britney Spears because just like the iconic singer, Maroney also had to “fake it till you make it” to survive the 2012 Olympics. “I was just trying to accomplish my dream, but I had abuse coming at me from many angles that I didn’t understand how to process at 15. I had to suppress it, and I had to minimize it, just to get through the day.”

McKayla Maroney Talks Britney Spears’ Determination to Speak Up For Herself 

While also commenting on Britney Spears’ situation, McKayla Maroney discusses the documentary Framing Britney and how the media has been blamed for Britney’s struggle. “To this day, media bullies celebrities and athletes with dramatic clickbait stories and fake reports for their benefits,” Maroney states. She also explains that the media doesn’t care about how it affects the person or others. 

McKayle Maroney proclaims it’s time to hold the media accountable for the “damage” they have created throughout the years. “The people who control [Britney] are criminals and abusers, just like USA gymnastics. And the USOC used me and their athletes for money, but didn’t care to protect us.”

Maroney goes on to add the hashtag #freebritney to her post. 

McKayla Maroney Speaks About ‘Mental Blocks’ After Simone’s 2020 Olympics Exit

In a recent Instagram Story, McKayla Maroney spoke about the “mental blocks” (or “body glitches”) that gymnasts experience. “I’ve had a lot of experiences with these mental blocks,” Maroney explains. She also describes them as minerals and a gymnast’s worst nightmare. “They can end your career.”

McKayla also states that mental blocks may come out of nowhere and no one can even understand them. Maroney then proclaims that Simone Biles was smart to protect her body and mind.