John Orozco of the U.S. competes in the pommel horse during the men's gymnastics team final in the North Greenwich Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games (Photo : Reuters)
Team USA gymnast John Orozco enters the London 2012 Summer Olympics after suffering a torn Achilles' tendon in 2010, as the centerpiece of a new music video, and as a 2012 U.S. National Champion of his sport from the Bronx.
The Puerto Rican Orozco hopes to contribute to Team USA's first gold medal in Men's Gymnastics since 1984.
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Orozco grew up in the Bronx, sharing a bedroom with his three older brothers while maintaining good grades and great athletic performances. It would be at the age of 13 when Orozco realized he want to get serious with gymnastics. His father, William Orozco, would enter his then seven-year-old son in free gym classes in 2000.
"All the kids would tease me, and when it started off, I was pretty down about it," said Orozco. "When I walked into school, they would say, 'There's the gymnast kid who walks around in tights.'"
Bronx State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. wrote about his experience with the Orozco family, and helping the family reach their goal of achieving their the athlete's dream.
"Raising money was not easy, but John's mother never gave up," said Diaz, Sr. "Damaris Orozco is an incredibly determined and dedicated mother. She made sure that her son would be able to achieve his goals. When the residents of Harding Park held their Family Day, Damaris Orozco sold rice and beans to help raise money for John to attend gymnastics classes. She drove him near and far so that he could train and so that his dream to compete in the Olympics could come true."
The State Senator added, "Now the world celebrates the achievements of Team USA Men's Gymnastic Star John Orozco as he competes in the 2012 Olympics in London... He certainly makes the Bronx proud, the United States proud - and he most definitely has made me proud!"
Orozco would experience a painful tear of his right Achilles' tendon while performing on a vault during the Visa Championships in 2011. He would slowly make a comeback, but has remained attentive of future risks on the tendon, as evident during the U.S. National Championships where he won gold.
His comeback would be the center of Gym Class Heroes latest music video "The Fighter." (below)
The 19-year-old achieved initial success in the qualifying portion of Men's Gymnastics, leading the team to first place. Unfortunately the team was unable to obtain the gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics, as Team USA came in fifth place, behind Ukraine, Great Britain, Japan, and gold medal winner China.
Orozco would slip during the pommel horse, as did Cuban team member Danell Leyva, and it contributed to Team USA's low score.
Regardless, Orozco fought a long way to step into the Olympics, and could prepare himself for the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Summer Olympics.