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McKayla Maroney welcomed home from Olympics

August 15, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
At 16, McKayla Maroney has just won two Olympic medals, and her expressions have made the Orange County gymnast an Internet sensation.

The kids who train with Maroney welcomed her home like a rock star Wednesday. She was showered with roses and hugs from her friends and the young gymnasts who hope to follow in her footsteps.

"It's so amazing to have that support and walk into the gym that I haven't been in for two months, and I just missed this place so much," said Maroney.

Maroney helped her team win gold at the Olympics with a soaring vault.

"Sticking my vault at the team finals was the moment that I will never ever forget," she said. "Just the whole entire thing kind of felt like a dream."

She was favored to win gold but took home the silver in the solo vault competition. The look on her face during the medals ceremony has turned her into an Internet sensation. Under the title, "McKayla is not Impressed," a meme featuring her scowl is Photoshopped into famous works of art and places such as the Sistine Chapel.

"I did realize I did that. I was up and I heard the national anthem playing for a different country and in my head I was like, 'I wish that was my national anthem,'" she said. "I did it for like two seconds and that's what happened."

Maroney said she is thrilled by her achievements and is proud to inspire other kids.

"I remember being little and being one of them and looking up to the girls in the Olympics or the girls that were the older ones in your gym and it just is amazing to know that I'm one of those now," she said.

Despite her success, people at her gym say she is still the sweet girl she's always been.


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