McKayla Maroney is reeling after the loss of her father Mike Maroney.
Yesterday, the gymnast shared a photo of her and her dad along with a heartbreaking tweet. In the image, the father/daughter duo stand in front of a pool as they wrap their arms around one another. Both McKayla and her father wear a smile in the cute image. And to go along with the picture, Maroney shared the sad news that her father had passed away at just 59-years-old.
“Love u dad. I can’t believe it’s real. I don’t want to. I’ll miss you forever. Rest in peace. You were the most incredible dad.”
Maroney did not reveal to fans exactly how her father died but it clearly has been an emotional time for her. So far, her post has earned her a ton of attention with over 15,000 favorites in addition to 800-plus comments. Many of Maroney’s Twitter fans commented on the image to express their condolences while countless others chimed in to ask what happened.
“The most heartbreaking experience I’ve ever had. Stay strong Mckayla and lean on those around you,” one follower wrote.
“Sorry for ur loss. Lost my dad late last year, never gets easy but they always be there in ur heart,” another one commented.
“He raised a brave and incredible lady. Lots of love to you and your family,” another wrote.
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Dad you taught me everything from how to walk to how to be a man and for that I thank you. Thank you for getting up at 4:30am for work and not coming home till 7 pm everyday for more then 20 years just to keep food on the table, and for us to have a great life. I’m the man of the house now and I promise to hold everything down. I promise. I love you and miss you i will live to make you proud till The day i get to see you again. I love you dad
McKayla’s younger brother, Kav Maroney, also shared a touching tribute to his late father in his own Instagram page. Along with a snapshot of McKayla, Mike, himself and a few others, Kav wrote in the caption of the image that he will love him and miss his father but promised to make him proud. He also thanked his father for working so hard day in and day out to provide for their family.
McKayla and Kav also have another sister, Tarynn Maroney. He is survived by his wife Erin and as many will recall, both of McKayla’s parents were very supportive of their daughter when all of the Larry Nassar issues went down. Maroney made a name for herself in 2012 when she won a gold medal at the summer Olympics.
Then, according to Radar Online, Maroney was one of the first athletes to speak out against former U.S. Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar in 2018. McKayla’s mother mother Erin wrote a letter to the judge, explaining how much the abuse had affected her daughter.
“This experience has shattered McKayla,” the statement read. “She has transformed from a bubbly, positive, loving, world class athlete into a young adult who was deeply depressed, at times suicidal. At times, I was unsure whether I would open her bedroom door and find her dead.”
Thoughts go out to the family during this difficult time.