"My coach told me today I'm in good shape," she excitedly told ESPN, "I haven't heard him say that in forever."
The 17-year-old gymnast, who became a world-wide sensation after making an "unimpressed" face when she won a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics, fractured her tibia in September 2012 during a performance of the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions in Ontario, Calif.
"Coming back from my broken tibia was quite a process," she explained to ESPN. "I got the screws taken out three days before my birthday, and I got an infection. Although my physical therapy was focused on my leg and toe, everything in my body became stronger through it."
For Maroney, who is no stranger to hard work and disciple, getting back in shape was easier than falling out of it.
"Falling out of shape while I healed was a really weird situation," she said. "I was just used to being in shape, and getting out of it was really difficult for me. But I had perspective from competing at the Olympics. After that, everything seems small and conquerable. Today, I feel stronger than I did last year at this time. I'm a new, improved version of myself."
Asked about her upcoming competitions, Maroney said she's competing in the U.S. nationals in August and the World Championships in October, the teen gold medalist said she just wants to "go in confident and enjoy [herself.]"
"At nationals, I'm going to compete in floor and vault. I want to go in confident and enjoy myself. I worked so hard to come back, I'm really proud that I'm back, and I want to prove that I'm ready for worlds, which is in October. My goal is to give it my all and see what happens."
In regards to the face that made her famous, Maroney is still not impressed with the way the image became a viral sensation.
"I wasn't expecting two seconds of me on the medal stand to go viral after the Olympics," she said. "I came back to my room after the medal ceremony, and my dad said this picture of me doing a face I don't even remember making is blowing up. I make that face all the time. My teammates don't even notice it because I do it so often when I am not impressed. If you tell me my flight is delayed, I'll unconsciously make that face."
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