Olympics Preview: Meet gymnast John Orozco

Uploaded by WatchTheDaily on 21.06.2012

YOUTUBE TRANSCRIPT: Olympics Preview: Meet gymnast John Orozco
>>John Orozco: My name is John Orozco I’m from Bronx, New York and I’m a gymnast on
the senior national team. [Music]
I started when I was 8-years-old, my dad was a sanitation worker at the time, he was a
supervisor, and he came across a flier in the city during his job hours and it was posted
on a light post. He came home with the flier, he talked it over with my mom and he decided
that he wanted me to take that free trial lesson to see if I was interested in gymnastics.
So we went into Manhattan the next day and went into the gym and I started doing cartwheels
and handstands and when I got into that gym I just didn’t want to leave and my parents
saw that I loved it and I’ve been doing it ever since.
Not very popular in the Bronx to be a gymnast but through all the backhanded jokes and people
who didn’t believe I could really do anything with my life in gymnastics, I just kept my
dream in sight, kept my goals and my priorities in my head to make sure that I never lost
sight of what was really important to me and what I really love. I really want to show
young kids that football and basketball aren’t the only sports out there its okay to not
stick with the status quo and not stick with what’s popular. You know you just get out
there and do what you want to do and do what you love.
My family has always been there for me and they’re always going to be there for me
and I’ll do the same for them. The support that they’ve given me throughout the years
training from when I started up until now has been really actually very…astounding.
My mother she was diagnosed with Lupus and rheumatoid arthritis when she was younger
and she had double knee replacements, and I mean she’s like the bionic woman. And
she’s in pain almost every day but she gets up just to drive me to practice every day
when I was living at home training in New York. Going out to get food, cooking, and
doing everything she could to make sure that I was comfortable and I was where I needed
to be at all my meets and always traveled with me everywhere, plane flights, train rides,
bus rides, any way she could get me to where I was needed she would always get me there
and whatever I needed she was always there for me. Also my dad, too. Every aspect of
my life, they’ve always been there for me. I think I remember I went home one day and
I said I can’t just keep thinking this is a hobby anymore. And I didn’t tell my parents
anything it was more of an internal thing for me and I told myself you know, this is
it, I’m 13-years-old not a little kid anymore. I was thinking to myself at that time “it’s
time to grow up and be responsible and make this dream happen because it’s not going
to happen on its own”.
One of the main reasons I actually got into gymnastics and started taking it seriously
was because I wanted to change my life and I wanted to change my family’s life. It
shows them that we don’t have to stay stuck somewhere for the rest of our lives we have
opportunities and we can make changes. I try to hold myself to the highest expectation.
I try to think to myself, “alright this has got to be perfect, every time, every time”
and obviously it doesn’t happen all the time but putting the pressure on myself and
feeling the pressure of everyone else’s expectations is what also keeps me going too.
People expect things from me and I feel obligated to follow through with those expectations,
and that’s what keeps me going also. Whether it’s team, individual, all-around,
I just want an Olympic medal in the sport I love so badly. I lay in my bed and I think
about how it would feel to stand in that podium and get the medal, put it on my neck, and
being able to salute and be proud and knowing that all of these years and sacrifices have
paid off and being able to wear that medal in all its glory and honor. And I’m not
going to lie sometimes I tear up at night thinking “wow, that would be amazing, at
that moment that would be the moment that my life changes and my family’s life changes”.
It’s the most honorable thing that you can do, whether you’re representing you’re
country in the army, in combat, in sports, anything. Being able to wear USA on your chest
is the most honorable thing that I can think of and it just feels amazing. It feels like
you’re part of something that’s more than yourself.