McKayla Maroney 'Heavily Favored' for Individual Olympic Gold Medal After Leading Team USA in Women's Gymnastics
McKayla Maroney is making big headlines not only because she helped Team USA win the Olympic gold medal, but she is likely to win one for herself.
The U.S. Women's gymnastics team won its first Olympic team gold medal since 1996 on Tuesday.
Along with Maroney, Jordyn Wieber led the Americans onto the floor Tuesday for the Olympic women's gymnastics team final.
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Wieber, Maroney, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, and Kyla Ross are being now referred to as the "Fierce Five" after the Magnificent Seven defined the U.S. Women's Olympic gymnastics program for 16 years, setting the standard by which every American team is judged, according to the Associated Press.
"Teenagers. Champions. And maybe -- just maybe -- the greatest team of all time," wrote AP.
"It was the best feeling to be up there and watch that flag go up," Maroney said. "I've pictured it. And it was pretty close to what I pictured. It was just the best feeling."
Maroney, the world champion on vault, is heavily favored to add an Olympic gold to her trophy case. Her Amanar -- the tricky, high-difficulty skill that can only be done by a handful of gymnasts in the world -- is so exquisite Karolyi believes it should have received a perfect score.
"It. Was. The. Best. Vault. Ever," she said.
Maybe, but Maroney will get another opportunity in the event finals.
Maroney's gold is almost assured. Douglas and Raisman could hit the podium during Thursday's all-around competition. Wieber could add another on floor.
The Inquisitr reported:
"The 16-year-old from Long Beach, Calif., was an important part of the U.S. Women's Gymnastics team's first team gold medal since 1996. McKayla Maroney was asked to set the tone for the competition as the U.S. team decided to lead off with the vault, its team strength. As the world champion and gold-medal favorite in the event, Maroney unleashed a run that rival Kerri Strug's vault in the 1996 Olympics to guarantee gold for the Magnificent 7 that year."
For Maroney, athletics is in the genes, Inquisitr reported. Her father, Michael Maroney, was a quarterback at Purdue University, the LA Times noted. One thing the 5-foot-2 McKayla didn't get from her father was his height-Michael stands a full foot taller than his daughter.
MTV News named Maroney as "Today's Badass." They said, "We knew right away when we saw McKayla Maroney pull off that mind-boggling vault that it was incredible."
Maroney will compete Thursday in the vault.