It's been a whirlwind summer for McKayla Maroney. In a matter of weeks she went from a practically unknown 16-year-old to Olympic gold medalist and Internet sensation.
Now that Maroney is back home in Long Beach, Calif., she and her teammates are dealing with the prizes and pitfalls that come with her newfound stardom. "The Fierce Five" have appeared on several talkshows recently, and Maroney looks like she's enjoying herself.
However there is also a darker side to Olympic stardom, especially as a young, female athlete. Former Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson was haunted by a stalker shortly after the Beijing Olympics, and Maroney's family is going to lengths to make sure she avoids any similiar situations.
"We have hired specialist security guards to make sure McKayla is never on her own," Maroney's mom, Erin, told the Daily Mail. "We don’t want another Shawn Johnson situation to happen."
Erin thought it was "frightening" that her daughter, who will turn 17 in December, has already received marriage proposals.
"We know there are some fanatical people out there," Erin said. "We've had prom date requests, you name it. But McKayla handles it great. She just rolls her eyes at it."
She may be only 16, but Maroney is dealing well with her newfound fame. Now that's impressive.
(H/T to Larry Brown Sports)