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John Orozco: My Road To Rio

By John Orozco, 2012 U.S. Olympic Gymnast | Aug. 05, 2014, 2:28 p.m. (ET)

What's up, everyone! This is John Orozco, and welcome to my very first blog for Team USA! I’m so pumped to be able to give you all an inside scoop of what it is like training and competing in men's elite gymnastics. I will also share my own personal experiences inside and outside of the gym, as I strive for Olympic gold on my journey to my second Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro! First off, I’d like to begin by saying thank you for taking the time to check out my blog and I hope that you enjoy it!

So, let me give you a quick update on what I've been up to lately:

My competitive season this year has been going considerably well for me. My very first competition of the year was the Houston National Invitational and it went great! I was able to perform all of my routines on every event with good execution, consistency and tough difficulty. I was feeling more prepared for the season than I ever have before!

After a great first competition to start off the year, I found myself physically struggling in the following competition shorty after HNI. It was at the Winter Cup Challenge; my body felt more fatigued than normal, and I was worried about my consistency in competition. My performances did not live up to my expectations, but I still managed to pull together a few standard routines. I was thinking to myself during the competition, “Seriously? What’s going on out there!? GET IT TOGETHER, JOHN!” After my less than great performance was over with, my next few competitions were exceptionally better. I competed at the 2014 Pacific Rim Championships in early April, as well as the 2014 Korea Cup a week after Pac Rim Champs. I was more than excited to get out into the international field, but then I sprained my ankle in training before the Pacific Rim competition. It was a high sprain, but we thought it was just a minor injury, so I decided to push through it and continue to represent my country. I was racking up the medals, back on the podium in the high-level international meets, and I was doing it all on a sprained ankle! I always feel an enormous sense of pride when I get to stand on the podium, hear the national anthem and receive a medal for Team USA!

I had finished my fall/spring international meet season with a smile on my face and a sense of confidence. After the fall/spring international assignments come to an end, that’s when all of the elite gymnasts in the U.S. know that it’s time to start preparing for national championships! A short two months of training went by and it was already time for the national qualifying competition. Since I was, and still am, currently on the national team I did not have to qualify to national championships, but I always participate in the meet to maintain my routines. I completed upgraded and reconstructed routines at the national qualifier competition as a run-through before national championships to determine what new skills I will compete at nationals! I successfully completed all of my new skills and I was so happy with the progress I made.

I’ve spent the last few weeks solidifying my routines for the P&G Gymnastics Championships and doing lots of repetitions. Routine after routine, after routine, is what it is all about in preparation for nationals. Sometimes it gets to be tedious, but I remind myself that national championships are right around the corner and this is what it takes! Most of my new skills that I’ve added into my routines this year are feeling very solid. Looking towards national championships I am both anxious and excited! Only two weeks left until I fly out to Pittsburgh, and I have a feeling these national championships are going to be incredible!

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John Orozco