After repetitive injuries and a loss of love for gymnastics, former Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney sidelined previous ambitions of competing in the Olympic Trials to focus on her love for making music.
Ditching the leotards for red platform shoes, cleavage-complimenting photos and midriff-bearing tops, Maroney has introduced a more mature persona through her Instagram with over a million followers.
And, in a recent interview with Seventeen, Maroney shed more light on her latest musical endeavors, among other topics, including speculation she underwent cosmetic surgery and her love for a certain Toronto rapper.
“You know, I really thought I was going to be (at the Olympic Trials), even six or seven months ago,” Maroney told Seventeenin an interview published Friday. “But I ended up having some different health issues and I didn’t even realize that I was starting to fall out of love with the sport and in love with music.
While Maroney’s music hasn’t been publicly released, Maroney told Seventeen she hopes it sounds like Toronto rapper Drake’s music.
“My biggest inspiration is Drake. I love the way that he tells stories,” Maroney told Seventeen. “It has a little bit of a Calypso jam vibe. He’s real and always lyrically-driven in all the melodies. If there’s one person I want to sound like, it’s him.”
With new found free time, Maroney said she has completed demos and will be showing them to “some bigger people in the industry” in the near future. Additionally, Maroney said she may have a single out in the next couple of months, according to Seventeen.
“I’ve loved writing songs since I was really young. I thought I was going to be like Sia and sell my songs to people,” Maroney said in her interview with Seventeen. “But after they were done, I was like, ‘I’m not going to sell these to anybody! I want to sing them.'”
Maroney, who’s “unimpressed face” went viral after the 2012 Olympic awards ceremony, has been battling many changes outside of her shift in careers as people have speculated the maturing gymnast has gotten cosmetic surgery, including lip injections.
While Maroney told Seventeen she hasn’t undergone cosmetic surgeries, she said she feels the physical speculation comes from not having “anything to give to people” lately, causing them to pick at anything to talk about the Olympic gymnast.
“At the end of the day, I have changed. I can’t blame anybody for saying, ‘Oh, she changed!’ You know, because I have. And that’s OK. It’s good to keep evolving and growing,” Maroney told Seventeen. “I think most people should be accepting with stuff like that, but you know, you can’t force anybody into feeling a certain way. So for anybody who’s judging it and not liking it, that’s fine. Unfollow me. I don’t really care.”
Maroney, a California native, competed in the 2012 Olympic games and received a team gold medal as well as a silver medal for her performance on the vault — a performance she has memorialized in her Instagram bio which currently reads “that one gymnast girl who fell at the Olympics.”
Maroney fell during the 2012 women’s vault finals and received a silver medal she was less than happy about during the award ceremony, sporting a contorted mouth and pursed lips that became known as the “McKayla Maroney is not impressed” meme.