This Olympian Was A Star, Then This Photo Made Her Change Careers
A Career Changing Photo
Everything in her life had led to this single moment. She’d worked hard since she was a kid and even harder now that the entire world was watching.
She gave it her all, fighting through the pain of her injuries. But when the photo went viral, she knew life would never be the same again.
The Tale Of A Shooting Star
McKayla Maroney was always a fearless girl. Born in Aliso Viejo, California, McKayla learned to be the best at everything she did from a young age. With this mindset, she always conquered whatever she set her mind on.
But what happened that year would show her that life had many perspectives, and focusing on one could break a person completely.
Red, White, And Blue
As a child, McKayla loved gymnastics. When she was eight, she saw the American women’s gymnastics team on TV. She knew she’d wear those red, white, and blue leotards one day.
She wanted, more than anything, to represent her country at the Olympics. She didn’t know how much one photo would affect that dream.
McKayla ventured into professional gymnastics by the time she was thirteen. To her, doing things with her body that people couldn’t felt incredible and empowering.
Her career skyrocketed, and before she knew it, McKayla was representing the United States at the London Olympics. Her time in London would set up the photo that would set the world ablaze.
Before the Olympics, McKayla made a name for herself as an expert gymnast. She’d won three international vault titles, culminating in a World Championship in Japan.
McKayla outdid herself by winning the gold medal for the vault events in Japan. Everybody watching the Olympics had their eyes on her. Nobody could’ve predicted what happened next.
Let The Games Begin
McKayla began her vault routine well enough. Her form was immaculate, and she impressed everyone with her movements.
As she performed, she remembered all those years back watching the Olympics and wishing she could be a part of it. She was here, and she was shinning. Then something terrible happened.
While executing her second attempt at her routine, McKayla slipped. Billions of people worldwide felt the pain that flared within her body. Spectators at the Olympics gasped with horror.
Black splotches covered McKayla’s sight as she tried to pull herself together. She begged her body to stand, hoping that this mishap wouldn’t ruin her chance at the gold medal.
Competing against McKayla was a Romanian gymnast named Sandra Izbasa. Like McKayla, Sandra was excellent at what she did.
She came in and wowed the world and the judges, obliterating any chance McKayla had for winning. McKayla thought Sandra winning was the worst that could happen that night, then something else occurred.
McKayla was awarded the silver medal for her feats during her vault routine. Even after her mishap, she had still outdone many gymnasts globally.
But people didn’t know she competed in the Olympics while recovering from severe injuries. She had a nose injury, a nasty concussion from two weeks prior, and a foot injury.
The Award Ceremony
McKayla accepted the silver and headed for the award ceremony. Sandra joined her, and they received their medals.
McKayla stepped away from the ceremony, content that she’d at least won something. She knew she needed to heal and work on her vaults more. She didn’t know that a photo of her was already doing rounds on the internet.
The Photo Surfaces Online
McKayla was hanging out with her team when she saw some of them giggling. They were looking at her and their phones.
Her brows furrowed, and she got up to see what the fuss was all about. Her parents walked in, interrupting her. They asked if she’d gone online anytime after arriving in London.
She Sees It
“Not really,” McKayla answered, confused by what was happening. One of her teammates handed her her phone.
McKayla saw the photo. She was standing at the award ceremony with her silver medal. A bored look was plastered on her face, and she’d pushed her lips to the side. Under it, a sentence read, ‘McKayla Is Not Impressed.’
She’s Not Impressed
This photo isn’t a big deal, McKayla thought. But the image was already all over the internet. People attached her face to everything they felt like, adding the iconic caption ‘Not Impressed.’
The photo became so big that McKayla found herself embracing it. She took pictures with the face and encouraged her fans to tag her in their creations. This acceptance would change her life forever.
Many people in the sports world knew McKayla as an excellent gymnast. But the world as a whole was learning about her through the photo. She became an internet sensation.
This new side of her life was proof McKayla could do more than gymnastics. The world was waiting for her to conquer it, and she would not hold back.
McKayla retired from gymnastics and launched a career in show business. A singer and actor, she continued creating waves across the world.
McKayla showed everyone the power of hard work and resilience. She also demonstrated the importance of lightheartedness and accepting oneself. Worldwide, people agree that though she’s rarely impressed, McKayla is one of the best.