The opening ceremonies for the 2012 London Olympics happen tonight and with the official start to the games, it’s time to root on our hometown heroes. Of course, we will be cheering on all of Team USA, but there are plenty of New York City- area Olympians to cheer for, including John Orozco who grew up in the Bronx. His dad worked for the NYC Department of Sanitation for 24 years and his mom drove him back and forth to his gym in Chappaqua – sometimes twice a day – to help him reach his Olympic goal.
Jason Hebert trained John at World Cup Gymnastics in Chappaqua for 10 years, starting when John was only 8 years old. Jason said they knew he was going to be a great gymnast.
“We knew he was going to be good,” he said. ” As a gymnast here in our gym, you know, he won 3 consecutive Junior Olympic championships, the very last year he was with us, we were trying to senior national team.”
Jason said they take gymnasts gunning for the Olympics out to the Olympic training center 3 or 4 times a year to test them against the big dogs.
John’s nickname in the gymnastic world is Ninja. Jason said John got the nickname because he’s so good at what he does.
“He has these just God given talents,” Jason said. “He defies the laws of gravity and defies any sort of law of nature with all the type of skills that he’s doing, so they think he’s like a ninja doing all these types of things.”
Jason said he thinks the only thing standing in John’s way of a gold medal is the last world champion, Kōhei Uchimura from Japan. He said Uchimura is consistently scoring around a 93 and John is consistently scoring around a 92.5, so the odds of walking away with a gold are high for John.
Listen to John’s childhood coach dish on what it was like to train John below!
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