Chappaqua-trained Olympian John Orozco looks to the future

August 3, 2012
by Jill L. Klein

Although Chappaqua-trained Olympic gymnast John Orozco had a rough performance at the 2012 summer games, his former coach, Jason Hebert, reports that Orozco is looking to the future with confidence.

“John is only 19 years old. Most of the male gymnasts competing at the Olympics are ages 23-25. John was the youngest gymnast competing, so he has an extremely bright future ahead of him,” said Hebert, who worked with him at World Cup Gymnastics in Chappaqua.

Herbert noted that Orozco will only be 23 years old for the Brazil Olympics, and 27 at the subsequent games. “I certainly see John competing at an extremely high level of gymnastics for the next eight years,” he said.

Orozco’s Olympic Games started off successfully, with team USA qualifying in first place in the preliminary rounds. However, Orozco fell on the pommel horse and the vault during Monday’s team finals, bringing his team down to 5th place.

Orozco individually finished in fourth place after the event, qualifying him for Wednesday’s men’s all-around. Although he opened successfully with his floor routine, he had extreme difficulties in his pommel horse routine, placing him in last place after the second event.

However, Orozco failed to let his failure affect him; he did an outstanding job on all future events, bringing him up from 24th to a solid 8th place finish.

“Any other gymnast would have given up after such a poor [pommel horse] performance,” said Hebert.  “But John has never given up – ever. He’s such a fighter, and because of that he was able to do an incredible job on his last four events and bring himself up 12 places.”

“After looking at the final scores, if he had earned just an average score on the pommel horse, he would have wound up with the silver medal,” Hebert noted.

Orozco will be busy participating in the post-Olympic “Tour of Champions” when he returns home this summer. He is undecided as to whether he will continue training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs or return home to World Cup.

Jill L. Klein is a 2012 Greeley graduate who is headed for Barnard College this fall. She is the founder of The Quake and a former New York Daily News intern.

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