2012 Summer Olympics Spotlight: Gymnast McKayla Maroney

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Five teen girls have been named to the 2012 Summer Olympics U.S. women's gymnastics team -- historically one of the best teams in the world! Here are the top five things you should know about McKayla Maroney,16, before the Olympics start tonight, July 27.

  1. McKayla Maroney was born on December 9, 1995, in Laguna Niguel, CA. As a young girl, she was involved in soccer, ice skating and tennis, but she was always destined to be a gymnast. "When I was younger, I would be watching Tarzan and running around on all fours," she says. "My mom was 'I need to put this child in gymnastics. She's crazy.'"

  2. Her first major competition was back in 2009. She participated in the Visa Championships, USA gymnastics' national championships. She walked away with the third place in Vault that day and has won medal after medal ever since.

  3. McKayla's favorite thing to do as a gymnast is perform on the floor. "I really like floor because I think it's the only event that you can really show everybody yourself," she says. "You can dance and you can show people who you are and what you're there for. I think it's just the event that people can see your true inner self."

  4. Her must-see TV shows are 'Keeping up with the Kardashians' and 'Glee.' She also likes to watch the new episodes of 'The Lying Game' with all the girls on the USA team. "We all watched them together during Worlds and it was really fun."

  5. When she's not training, she loves to go to the movies, shop, hang out at the pool and go to the beach. And once gymnastics is over, she'd like to become an actress!

Be sure to keep an eye out for McKayla Maroney -- the gymnastics events start July 28 on NBC!

Will you be tuning into the Opening Ceremony?

Photos courtesy of Mitchell Haaseth/NBC Olympics.

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