U.S.gymnast McKayla Maroney will compete in the London Summer Games, despite the lingering effects of a broken toe. Maroney, a gold medal contender, is the reigning world champion in the vault. Early reports suggested that Maroney broke her toe in London. But it appears that she merely tweaked an earlier injury.
On Twitter, NBC producer Alexa Ainsworth clarified that Maroney’s toe “was broken before Classic and she just aggravated that here.”
The U.S. women and other gymnastics teams took to the floor for an unofficial start to their Olympics Thursday, when they worked out on podium training day, in London’s North Greenwich Arena.
“Vault is what I’m here for,” Maroney said. “I knew I was going to do vault no matter what.”
Maroney has her sights set on a gold medal. And after her workout Thursday, she showed her toe to reporters to prove that it’s in good enough shape to allow her to compete.
“Bad things happen, you just have to make the best of it,” Maroney told NBCOlympics.com. “It does hurt. It’s broken. How is it not going to hurt? I just try to ignore it and I have worked so hard to be here. I can ignore the pain for a little bit.”
The AP reports, “Maroney initially broke her toe in late May, and did it again the next month. She split the bone further during training last Thursday doing a dismount on balance beam.”
Since that dismount, Maroney has reduced her training to ice the injury and undergo electronic stimulation and acupuncture therapy, to speed healing.
And she seems to have enjoyed Thursday’s session.
“It was really fun to get out there and do my vault, and I was really excited to go to that arena,” Maroney said afterwards. “I love it just being there with all the girls. I was really happy with how everybody did.”
Maroney and her teammates will participate in their first official Olympic events Sunday. They begin with the vault.