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Catching Up with the 2012 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team

By Brandon Penny | Oct. 01, 2012, 5 p.m. (ET)

 John Macready performs at the Kelloggs tour of gymnastic champions
1996 Olympian John Macready introduces the 2012 Olympic gymnastics team
at the Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions

Following an impressive showing in London, where Team USA earned six gymnastics medals, members of the 2012 U.S. Olympic gymnastics team are now traveling throughout the nation on the 40-city Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions.  While in Colorado Springs, 2012 Olympic team members Aly Raisman, Jordyn Wieber, Jake Dalton, Jonathan Horton and John Orozco sat down with TeamUSA.org to answer questions that fans submitted via Facebook and Twitter


@TeamShawnJ on Twitter asks: How is the tour going so far?

Aly Raisman: It’s really fun, I love it.  It’s really different than what we’re used to, we don’t have to worry about judges critiquing our every move and it’s a lot more relaxed to come out here and perform in front of big crowds.

Jake Dalton: It’s going good, it’s a lot of fun.  When we’re first trying to learn everything it was way different for us because we’re not used to performing, we’re used to competing and doing gymnastics.  It’s definitely something different but it’s a lot of fun and it’s going real well.

John Orozco: We’re having a lot of fun, the audiences have been really great.  We’ve only done about 11 shows so far but it’s only gonna get better and better.

Jonathan Horton: Tour’s going really well, I’m loving the show.  It’s quite a bit more work than the 2008 show, we’re doing bigger gymnastics, a little more intricate numbers.  I love the cast, I love the crew, everything’s been great.

Jordyn Wieber: It’s going really well, we’re all having a lot of fun, and it’s going pretty fast so that’s crazy.


Jordyn Weiber, Gabby Douglas and Aly Raisman perform at the Kelloggs tour of gymnastic champions 
Olympic champions Jordyn Wieber, Gabrielle Douglas and Aly Raisman
perform in the Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions

Michelle C. on Facebook asks: What has been your favorite part of the show to learn?

Jordyn Wieber: I think my favorite dance is the “Party Rock” dance because the whole cast does it and it’s really fun and upbeat.

Aly Raisman: I really love the beam number because it’s really graceful and beautiful.  All the numbers of all five of us [from the Fierce Five] together are fun because it’s fun to be together and we enjoy doing it, and then we get to shuffle and that’s really fun too.

Jake Dalton: My favorite part to learn was probably one of the scariest parts, which is our Olympic ring number, where we’re getting lifted in the air.  It was a little scary at first and it’s a little Cirque-type so it was fun to learn that but scary at the same time.

John Orozco: My favorite part is “Party Rock,”  especially when we were in Staples Center and performed it with Redfoo [of the band LMFAO].

Jonathan Horton: I really love the Olympic rings number; the rings go way up in the air and it’s not like anything I’ve ever done before.  I really love being up high, it’s a cool adrenaline rush to be up there doing some cool tricks.  


Maura C. on Facebook asks: What is your favorite song or artist to listen to while working out?

Jordyn Wieber: I don’t really have one favorite song, it’s just anything that’s upbeat and gets me pumped up.  I like Rihanna, Beyonce, Justin Bieber, things like that.

Aly Raisman: Right now I’m really into the song “Good Time” by Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen but it switches depending on what’s the new song coming out.

Jake Dalton: I like Eminem and Lil Wayne, Wiz Khalifa.  Anything that’s upbeat gets me pumped up.

John Orozco: I like Chris Brown a lot, I listen to all his music.  He’s got good songs.

Jonathan Horton: I have a couple favorite artists, there’s three I can think of off the top of my head: 311, Linkin Park and Rage Against the Machine.  I like intense rock, it keeps the blood pumping.


jonathan Horton and Jake Dalton perform at the Kelloggs tour of gymnastic champions 
Jonathan Horton and Jake Dalton perform in the Kellogg's Tour of
Gymnastics Champions

Anonymous asks: What has surprised you the most about your fellow gymnasts after spending so much time with them on tour?

John Orozco: How shady they are –  just kidding!  I was pretty surprised by some of their dance moves; probably by Nastia the most.  She’s doing all the different acro stuff in the sheets and silks.  I always thought she’d be able to do it but I didn’t think she could do it as well as she does it so I’m impressed.

Jordyn Wieber: Not much has surprised me because we spend a lot of time together at training camps and the Olympics and everything.  We definitely get to know each other pretty well rooming together, we don’t even spend two seconds apart.

Aly Raisman: Some of the people on the tour I didn’t know at all before this so it’s really nice to meet new people and just have fun.  I think that a lot of people think we’re shy but I don’t think anyone here is shy so hopefully people can see that while we’re dancing and out here performing.

Jonathan Horton: I knew most of the guys really well, just training side-by-side with them for so many years.  The biggest surprise for me is getting to know the girls team.  They’re so serious when they’re competing, but now I see the other side of them; they’re fun, they’re entertainers, they’re goofballs like the rest of us.  That’s been the biggest surprise to see them go from one personality and taking a 180, you don’t realize they’re normal young girls and they’re doing a great job.


Isabel A. on Facebook asks: If you could have a movie made about your life, what actor or actress would you choose to play you?

Jordyn Wieber: Mila Kunis

Jake Dalton: Tom Hardy

John Orozco: Will Smith

Jonathan Horton: Brad Pitt


 Aly Raisman performs at the Kelloggs tour of gymnastic champions
Three-time Olympic medalist Aly Raisman performs on uneven bars in
Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions

Jaret H. on Facebook asks: What foods could you not eat while training for the Olympic Games that you wish you could?

Jordyn Wieber: I usually couldn’t eat any desserts or anything but I’m still eating pretty healthy now that I’m not in intense training.

Aly Raisman: I didn’t have any bread, I tried to stay away from carbs like rice.  It was a strict diet but definitely worth it so it was okay.

Jake Dalton: I like to eat pizza a lot but I try not to.

John Orozco: Vanilla cake, I love cake, and pizza but I eat that all the time anyway.

Jonathan Horton: There’s so many foods that I didn’t eat; probably the main thing I backed off of was soda and burgers.  I love a good burger and I didn’t eat a burger for a good two-and-a-half years, and I probably had one soda a week.  Now that the Games are over I’ve enjoyed some burgers and soda just about every day.


@AlyRaismanFan on Twitter asks: What is your favorite motivational quote that you keep in mind on challenging days?

Jordyn Wieber: The one quote I always think of is a bible verse, it’s Philippians 4:13, that’s my favorite one.  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” That’s something I’ve always lived by.

Aly Raisman: “Believe in your heart that you’re destined to do great things.”  That’s one of my favorites and I just try to always have a positive attitude and believe in myself and enjoy it because it makes everything that much easier.

John Orozco: There’s one by Gary Raser he says, “Success has been and continues to be defined by getting up one more time than you’ve been knocked down,” and I think that applies to a lot of things in life, especially my Olympic experience because I fell real bad at the Olympics but I plan on getting up one more time and doing it right the next time.

Jonathan Horton: In the movie Miracle, Herb Brooks, the head coach, tells the 1980 U.S. men’s Olympic hockey team, “We may play the Russians 10 times and they beat us nine times but not this one.” It’s motivating to think any given day it can be your time to beat the best guys in the world.


Marjorie S. on Facebook asks: Where is your favorite place to vacation?

John Orozco: I haven’t been on vacation in years.  If I had to choose one though it would probably be Barbados, that would be cool.

Jake Dalton: I’ve never really actually gone anywhere for a vacation, but I used to compete in Hawaii a lot for regionals, so that was a lot of fun.

Jordyn Wieber: I’ve only been on one real vacation in my whole life, I went to Mexico, but hopefully I’ll be able to go to Hawaii or something within the next year.

Jonathan Horton: Last time I took a vacation was on my honeymoon to Antigua, which was really nice.  My wife and I love going to tropical places, laying out on the beach, having a good time.


Owen C. on Facebook asks: Which gymnast do you most admire?

Jake Dalton: Probably my teammate Steve Legendre; he works really, really hard and he’s one of the guys who is always self-motivated.  He’s really easy to work out with because he pushes me as well.

Aly Raisman: It’s hard to pick one, I respect all the girls, especially the girls I competed with.  We have so much fun together and we all push each other to the next level so it’s really cool that we’re all competing together and we’re all best friends so it helped us do well at the Olympics.

Jonathan Horton: When Paul Hamm was in his prime, he was like a machine to watch with his work ethic and everything about him.


Lizzie C. and Hayley P. on Facebook ask: What was your single most rewarding or favorite moment of your Olympic experience?

Jordyn Wieber: The most rewarding part was coming away with a gold medal with the team, just because all five of us worked together to deserve that and we each put in our own efforts and we were really bonded the whole time and cheering for each other.

Aly Raisman: It’s hard to pick one favorite moment but one that stands out is the first time walking into the arena for the first day of prelims and realizing that I had done it, I made it to the Olympics.  I remember looking at Mihai and we were both thinking the same thing.  It felt like I was in a movie.

John Orozco: The whole experience that I got from it; I learned a lot.  I’m going to go back in four years and hopefully do a little better next time.

Jake Dalton: I’d say walking into the arena for the first time, I got to see everything and soak it all in.  It all sunk it right then so that was probably the best part.


@AlyRaismanFan on Twitter asks: Which celebrity have you been the most star-struck to meet?

Jonathan Horton: I don’t get too star-struck but I thought it was really cool to meet the president.  I met our last president, George Bush, and the idea of looking at the president of the United States was really cool.

Jake Dalton: We got to meet Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (Alfonso Ribeiro) after our LA show, that was really cool.

Aly Raisman: I think in the beginning of the Olympics when we all met Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte we were pretty impressed but I haven’t gotten really star-struck.  I met Taylor Swift and Nicki Minaj and so many people and it didn’t seem like we were actually meeting them, they just seemed like normal people.  It just seemed really cool that they would want to meet us.

John Orozco: I met Rihanna at the VMAs.  She came up to me and said something like, ‘It’s nice to meet you, great video, you’re an inspiration.’ I was too star-struck to really listen to what she was saying.

Jordyn Wieber: At the VMAs we met Katy Perry and Rihanna and Taylor Swift so those are probably the three biggest.


Conor M. on Facebook asks: What do the guys put on their hands to keep them from ripping?

Jake Dalton: I don’t really put anything on there to keep them from ripping but I shave my callouses.  We have a callous scraper and I shave them down so they don’t build up.

John Orozco: We have skin toughener but that’s more for when we put on tape so it doesn’t slip if we’re sweaty.  We put honey on our hands for parallel bars and then chalk, so we can stick to the bars more; high bar, pommels, rings we use chalk.

Jonathan Horton: Nothing; if we’re gonna rip, we’re gonna rip.  I don’t put anything on my hands.


Aimee T. on Facebook asks: Where do Aly and Jordyn like to go shopping?

Aly Raisman: I go shopping at a lot of places; I really love Bloomingdale’s a lot because they have a lot of different stuff.  We went to Lululemon the other day so we got a lot of stuff there and that’s one of my favorite places.

Jordyn Wieber: A lot of places – I love Forever 21, Lululemon, places like that. 


@lifeintothewest on Twitter asks: What are your passions outside of gymnastics?

Jonathan Horton: I love fast cars and motorcycles, that’s probably one of my most unsafe passions.  My wife has a motorcycle too, we both have one.  I’m really into any extreme sport; I love skiing.  I love playing golf, I’m terrible at it but it’s really relaxing.  I’m not good at anything besides gymnastics, I’ve put too much time and effort into that to be good at anything else but there are a lot of other little interests.

Aly Raisman: I love to go shopping and I really love fashion.  I really want to have my own workout line one day.  I also like to write.  My whole life has been gymnastics so I definitely want to stay involved with that but also do something in fashion later on.

Jake Dalton: I have a street bike so just riding my street bike.  I also have a dirt bike.  Motocross is always really cool.  I’m into cars, I just look at cars all the time.  A lot of us are into cars, we have some pretty cool cars on this team, we all talk about it.

John Orozco: I like singing, I like acting, I like drawing but I’m not good at it at all.  I like music so I’m always singing, ask my roommate, he’s probably sick of it.


Carolyn A. on Facebook asks: What was your favorite bonding moment with your teammates at the Games?

Aly Raisman: I think it’s hard to choose one but I remember at breakfast the day of team finals we were like, ‘Okay guys we’re gonna go in there and we’re gonna win, we’re gonna have fun; this is our night and we can do this.’ We were all on the same page, we weren’t cocky, we were all nervous but we believed in each other just like the whole time we were all on the same page and working together to achieve our goals.

John Orozco: We had a little basketball hoop that we could just put on the door and we’d throw it in and try to go from 10 feet over and try to get it in the basket.  It kept us away from the fact that we were at the Olympics.  It could be really intense if you’re just sitting there, waiting to compete.  It was a good way to calm ourselves down instead of being too anxious and too serious.

Jonathan Horton: Probably the moment we walked onto the floor for our first day of competition.  We all looked at each other like, ‘Wow, we’re in this together.’ We had big smiles on our faces and we knew we were brothers and would go after it together. 


Nadia P. on Facebook asks: Which is your favorite NFL team?

Aly Raisman: Patriots.  I was just playing football outside with the cast; right now we’re so busy that we’re not really watching it but I look to see if they win or lose.  I’ve been practicing football with the guys that I’m getting pretty good at it.

Jake Dalton: Obviously Oklahoma for college football.  I never really followed one NFL team until recently.  I’m starting to get into the Saints.  I needed a team to pick and I like Drew Brees and I like the Saints so I just started following them a little bit.

John Orozco: Giants


Jennifer S. on Facebook asks: Can fans expect to see you at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games?

Jordyn Wieber: It’s definitely a possibility.  I’m gonna go back after tour and continue training again and see how things feel and hopefully I can stay in the sport as long as I can.

Aly Raisman: I definitely want to go for 2016.  I’m not exactly sure when I’m gonna start competing again, I’m just gonna take it day-by-day.  We’re all on tour so we’re still training, I’m still doing a floor routine and still doing stuff on beam.  I started my first international competition in Brazil, so I’d love to start and end in Brazil.

Jake Dalton: Hopefully.  I’m gonna go back to Oklahoma and finish my last year of school and just continue to train for the next four years.

John Orozco: Definitely.  I’m gonna get back into training and next time Olympic Trials comes around, I’ll hopefully make it and go for Rio, 110 percent.

Jonathan Horton: Hopefully; I’m gonna be training for it so people will see me at Visas and hopefully Olympic Trials.  If all goes well and I’m healthy, hopefully I’m one of the best in the country and they’ll definitely see me there.

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Jake Dalton

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