John Orozco, the 2012 U.S. national champ and a member of the 2012 Olympic gymnastics team, visited with staff and patients at Holy Name Medical Center last week. Check photos from the Olympic visit in the gallery above.
More information on the 19-year-old Olympian is below:
A Talented Junior Gymnast:
Orozco won the all-around at the 2007, 2008, and 2009 US nationals, competing in the junior divisions. In 2009 he completely dominated the age 14-15 category in the junior division: He won the all-around by more than three points, and took gold on floor, pommel horse, rings, parallel bars, and high bar -- in short, every event but vault.
Orozco tore his Achilles tendon at the 2010 US nationals, on his fifth event, the vault. The injury required surgery and ended his competition at his first senior nationals. Though he is now healed, vault is still one of his weaker events, and many attribute it to his ongoing Achilles recovery.
Breakout Year in 2011:
Orozco came back strong in 2011, placing third in the all-around at the US senior nationals, behind Danell Leyva and Jonathan Horton. He also took third on pommel horse and high bar (tied with Paul Ruggeri), and second on parallel bars.
Orozco was named to the world team and had a fantastic rookie performance at worlds. He qualified into the all-around finals in second place, one spot behind three-time world champion Kohei Uchimura and ahead of Leyva (third) and Horton (fifth). He helped the US team win bronze with strong scores on four events, and then placed fifth individually in the all-around finals. At just 18, he was already making a name for himself among the best in the world.
In 2012, Orozco again won the all-around title at US nationals, but this time he won it at the senior level. He edged Leyva by just .05, rocking his final floor routine to knock Leyva out of the top spot.
At Olympic Trials, Orozco was set to win again before a hand cramp caused him difficulty on parallel bars. He placed second to Leyva, and was named to the 2012 Olympic team.
Orozco had a good day in preliminaries, helping the team qualify to the medal round and earning a spot in the individual event finals. In the team final, however, Orozco had an off day, falling on vault and missing his pommel horse set. He came back strong on parallel bars and high bar, but with errors from other team members as well, U.S. finished a disappointing fifth overall.
Orozco's bad luck on the pommel horse continued in the all-around finals. A very low score there (12.566) ended his chances of an all-around medal, and he placed eighth. Had he earned the same score as he did in prelims (14.766) he would have won the silver medal. Orozco is very young still, and should be a force to watch in the future.