2012 Olympian McKayla Maroney Says She Was Forced To Compete With Broken Foot After Larry Nassar 'Lied'
In a series of videos posted on her Instagram story, USA Gymnast and Olympic Gold Medalist McKayla Maroney just came told the internet how she was forced to compete in the vault finals of the 2012 London Olympics with a broken foot, a broken nose, and concussion, all because team doctor--and convicted pedophile--Larry Nassar allegedly lied to the coach and claimed her foot wasn't broken.
Maroney, who decided to tell her story just as the vault finals of the Tokyo Olympics were in full swing, did go on to land what many still dub the greates vault in history, and helped push Team USA to win a gold medal.
But her admission serves as yet another addition to a long list of blemishes on USA Gymnastics' problematic history of placing competitive success over the well-being of its member athletes.
Maroney first called attention to the historic plight of gymnasts with a Tweet calling readers to learn about "how terrible it's set up for athletes."
If you want to hear the behind the scenes of what ACTUALLY goes down during the Olympic Gymnastics event finals (sp… https://t.co/CZof3ML5HB— mckayla (@mckayla) 1627840068.0
In the Instagram videos, which were eventually reposted on Youtube, Maroney divulged the harrowing details of her injured performance.
Maroney explained that she arrived to London after hitting the back of her head so hard just two weeks prior that her nose was shattered.
Nonetheless, upon arriving to London, Team USA Gymnastics coach Márta Károlyi forced her to practice on the balance beam--an event she was not competing in--despite Maroney's concussion, busted nose, and jet lag.
"And that's when I broke my foot, on the beam, because I was dizzy as hell."
"Like, I felt terrible. I looked at my coach before my beam routine and was like, 'Really? You're going to make me get on this thing right now? I feel like s---!'' "
While practicing, Maroney shattered her sesamoid bone.
But Larry Nassar, who was sentenced to 175 years in prison for sexually assaulting hundreds of children on the USA Gymnastics team--including Maroney--told Károlyi that Maroney was only complaining about an old break that had since healed.
Once people on Twitter heard Maroney's account of all that happened, they were appalled.
@McKaylaMaroney thank you for sharing all of this information with us 🤍🤍 I can’t imagine how difficult it must be t… https://t.co/9lXIokNcwE— m (@m) 1627845540.0
@McKaylaMaroney @Gymnastics_Now McKayla, as an old lady, I just want to take you into my arms & hug you & never le… https://t.co/vsvziVItmt— where’s my N95 yet again? (@where’s my N95 yet again?) 1627871224.0
@McKaylaMaroney hanging in our house, we have a giant framed photo of you upside down in the middle of that 2012 va… https://t.co/MgY6I9NQKd— Brent Bjornsen MD (@Brent Bjornsen MD) 1627846915.0
@McKaylaMaroney I respect the athletes but everything surrounding it seems so toxic and abusive. It's beautiful to… https://t.co/n3oxL2RbFr— Kuragari (@Kuragari) 1627915060.0
@McKaylaMaroney I doubt I will ever watch gymnastics at the Olympics again. These athletes are treated like meat a… https://t.co/lZEjLkgZ2l— Kathie Kostura (@Kathie Kostura) 1627847860.0
@McKaylaMaroney Amazing courage but nobody should ever be pressured into a position like that again but as we have… https://t.co/2F7JrKVS5u— mike brucato (@mike brucato) 1627914128.0
According to Insider, President and CEO of USA Gymnastics Li Li Leung addressed Maroney's claims directly.
"We recognize how deeply we have broken the trust of our athletes and community, and are working hard to build that trust back. Everything we do now is aimed at creating a safe, inclusive, and positive culture for everyone who participates in our sport."
"And while we know that this kind of meaningful and lasting culture change does not happen overnight, we will keep working toward that goal until every member feels supported, included, safe and empowered."