Kristen Ann Maloney (born March 10, 1981) is a retired gymnast from Pen Argyl, Pennsylvania, United States, who won bronze in the team event at the 2000 Olympic Games. Maloney was also the U.S. senior all-around national champion in 1998 and 1999 and the 1998 Goodwill Games gold medalist on the balance beam.
|Full name||Kristen Ann Maloney|
|Country represented||United States|
|Born||March 10, 1981|
Hackettstown, New Jersey
|Discipline||Women's artistic gymnastics|
|Level||Senior International Elite|
|Club||Parkettes National Gymnastics Training Center|
|College team||UCLA Bruins|
|Head coach(es)||Bill Strauss|
|Assistant coach(es)||Donna Strauss, Jack Carter|
|Music||Grease (1997), All That Jazz (1998), West Side Story (1999), Puttin' On The Ritz (2000)|
|Eponymous skills||Maloney (uneven bars)|
Maloney also competed for the University of California, Los Angeles in the NCAA from 2001 until 2004.
Maloney trained at Parkettes National Gymnastics Training Center in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and was a consistent member of the U.S. national gymnastics team from 1993 to 2000. She competed in a variety of minor international events as a junior elite and, as a senior, qualified for the 1996 Olympic Trials.
Maloney finished fourteenth at the Trials and received little media attention in the shadow of the "Magnificent Seven," but she became one of the most prominent American gymnasts from 1997 to 2000. The national champion in the all-around in 1998 and 1999, she was a key member of the American team at several major international meets. She participated in the 1997 and 1999 World Championships, earned a gold medal on the balance beam at the 1998 Goodwill Games in New York, and won the all-around at the 1998 Pacific Alliance Championships. Maloney ended her elite career at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, where the American team won the bronze medal after a 2010 investigation by the International Gymnastics Federation disqualified the original bronze medalist, China, for falsifying a gymnast's age. She also finished nineteenth in the individual all-around.
After the Olympics, Maloney attended UCLA on a full athletic scholarship and competed in NCAA gymnastics with the Bruins. She earned All-American honors and scored perfect tens at several meets. In her final college competition, the NCAA Championships, Maloney placed second in the all-around behind teammate Tasha Schwikert; won gold on vault and floor; and displayed Olympic-level skills, successfully completing a double-twisting Yurchenko vault and a full-twisting double layout on floor exercise.
Maloney was plagued by persistent injuries throughout her elite and collegiate careers. A nagging stress fracture led to the placement of a titanium rod in her leg (whence her name "K-Rod" among some fans). After one wave of serious injury and illness, Maloney missed two full years of competition with the Bruins; her subsequent return to full form earned her UCLA's C.H.A.M.P.S. Inspirational Award.
Maloney graduated from UCLA in 2005 and worked as a gymnastics coach in California. One of her gymnasts was Shavahn Church, a member of the British national team. For a time, she lived in Europe and worked with Cirque du Soleil. She also taught preschool in Queens, New York.
Maloney began working as an assistant coach for the University of New Hampshire gymnastics team in the 2010-11 season. She has been an assistant gymnastics coach at Iowa State University since July 2011.
Her routines included the following skills:
- Vault: Double-twisting Yurchenko
- Uneven bars: Maloney; Gienger; full-twisting double layout dismount
- Balance beam: Front tuck mount; wolf jump half, wolf jump, Rulfova; back handspring, layout, layout; punch front; back handspring, two-foot back handspring, two-foot layout; back handspring, back handspring, double back dismount
- Floor exercise: Full-twisting double layout; double layout; punch front through to triple twist; double back; whip to immediate double layout
Awards and honorsEdit
- 1999: James E. Sullivan Award: Finalist
- 1999: USA Gymnastics Gymnast of the Year
2017: UCLA sports hall of fame
- "USA Gymnastics Official Biography: Kristen Maloney". usagym.org.
- Macur, Juliet (28 April 2010). "China Stripped of Gymnastics Medal". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
- "She's a medal-winner, after all - Morning Call". Mcall.com. 2010-04-29. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
- "Decorated Gymnasts Named Assistant Coaches". cyclones.com. 2011-07-25. Retrieved 2012-07-18.