U.S. Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney, 16, went into the London games with a singular purpose — to land that gold medal in her individual vault event. While Maroney and her teammates, Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and Kyla Ross, or the “Fab Five,” pulled off winning the gold for the team final event last week, and Douglas nabbed the individual all-around gold medal for the U.S.A., launching her into household name status, Maroney, who seemed a shoo-in for winning the gold in the vault event, literally fell just short of the victory when she slipped on her second dismount and found herself on the ground.

“I didn’t deserve to win gold if I landed on my butt,” Maroney said after the fall and losing the gold medal to Romania’s Sandra Izbasa, reports USA Today. The bronze went to Maria Paseka of Russia. “It’s more of a shock,” Maroney said of coming in second place to win the silver medal. “I’m not disappointed about the silver. I’m disappointed about my performance.”

Maroney’s first vault scored an impressive 15.866, which, even as the best score of the night, still paled in comparison to the staggering 16.233 she placed on the vault during the team all-around last week, which decisively launched Team USA into first place.


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“I don’t want to blame it on anything other than I messed up, Maroney said about when her hands didn’t properly come down on the vault. “It happens; it’s gymnastics. You can’t always be perfect. Sometimes things don’t go as planned.”

And winning the gold was definitely part of Maroney’s plan. “I know that I really want to get the gold medal for vault, because I’ve been working so hard for that, I definitely want to have that gold medal,” Maroney exclusively told Uinterview before London.

Check out our full exclusive on McKayla Maroney and more on the London 2012 Olympics here:

U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team With McKayla Maroney & Jordyn Wieber Wins Gold

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EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Olympic Gymnast Jonathan Horton On The London Games

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EXCLUSIVE: U.S. Olympic Sprinter Wallace Spearmon On Losing His Medal In Beijing — And Winning Gold In London

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