Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Members of the U.S. Men's and Women's Olympic Teams

Get to know these dynamic athletes and watch them compete for the US at the London Olympics.
U.S. Men's Gymnastics Team
Jonathan Horton is a two-time National All-Around Champion and won a silver medal for high bar at the 2008 Olympics. At that time, he was part of the bronze medal Olympic team. As a member of the US Men’s Olympic Gymnastics Team heading to London, he hopes to grab the team gold! At 26 years old, he’s the oldest on the team and brings a real veteran’s perspective to the group. Jonathan has a blast when he’s competing and it’s winning spirit and determination that kept his career from ended abruptly in Oct. of 2011 when he broke two bones and tore a ligament in his foot coming off the vault. He powered back and hopes to do better than ever in London. Go Jonathan! For more on Jonathan, go to http://www.nbcolympics.com/athletes/athlete=jonathan-horton/index.html

When US Men’s Olympic Gymnastics Team member Jake Dalton was younger he had to choose between his two loves: gymnastics and baseball. Lucky for us and the rest of the US, he chose gymnastics! Born in Reno, NV, Jake lives in Norman, OK, and attends the University of Oklahoma and is on the men’s gymnastics team there. This dedicated athlete practices two hours a day six days a week plus works in extra strength training sessions as well. When he wants to relax, he kicks back and watches a good movie. For more about Jake, go to http://www.nbcolympics.com/athletes/athlete=jake-dalton/index.html

Danell Leyva was born in Cuba but came to the United States when he was a year old. Now he calls Miami, FL, his home. Danell is the 2011 US National All-Around Gold Medalist and the 2011 World Champion on parallel bars. He considers making the 2012 US Olympic Team a dream come true. When he’s not practicing, he can be found hanging out with his pet tarantula! For more on Danell, go to http://www.nbcolympics.com/athletes/athlete=danell-leyva/index.html

Sam Mikulak started in gymnastics when he was 2 (both his parents were gymnasts) and as a 19-year-old he was the 2012 US Parallel Bars Silver Medalist and the All-Around Bronze Medalist. He’s from Corona Del Mar, CA, but is attending the University of Michigan. Pommel Horse is the apparatus he likes best. Sam enjoys working on the computer in his spare time and crab legs are his favorite food. For more on Sam, go to http://www.nbcolympics.com/athletes/athlete=sam-mikulak/index.html

John Orozco is the 2012 Visa National Champion. He’s 19 years old and from Bronx, NY, but currently lives and trains in Colorado Springs, CO. When John was 7 he was a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. His dad noticed how strong he was and that he could do flips and splits, so he got him into gymnastics. He loves sailing through the air on the high bar. This Olympian enjoys reading the Harry Potter series and was famous even before his recent athletic success: he was an extra in three episodes of the TV show
Law & Order! For more on John, go to http://www.nbcolympics.com/athletes/athlete=john-orozco/index.html

U.S. Women's Gymnastics Team
Gabby Douglas, member of the US Women's Olympic Gymnastics Team, is 16 years old and from Virginia Beach, VA. She won the all-around title at the Olympic trials in San Jose, CA, which gave her the lone automatic spot on the Olympic team. Her dad, Timothy Douglas, is in the US Air Force serving in Afghanistan. Gabby was nicknamed "The Flying Squirrel" by Martha Karolyi for the incredible height on her release moves on the bars. For more about Gabby, go to http://www.nbcolympics.com/athletes/athlete=gabrielle-douglas/index.html

Which US Women’s Olympic Team member can stick the Yurchenko two-and-a-half vault in competition? It’s McKayla Maroney! This 16-year-old from Laguna Niguel, CA, gained international acclaim for nailing that very difficult vault. She’s the 2011 Vault World Champion. McKayla was 7th All-Around at the Olympic trials but her exceptional high-degree-of-difficulty vaults convinced the committee to give her a spot on the Olympic team. At home, she likes to relax and hang out with the family’s chocolate lab, Tia Maria. For more on McKayla, go to http://www.nbcolympics.com/athletes/athlete=mckayla-maroney/index.html

Catch Wieber Fever! Jordyn Wieber (who turns 17 today! Happy B-Day, Jordyn) is the 2011 All-Around World Champion and a member of the US Olympic Gymnastics Team competing in London. Nicknamed “Jo”, Jordyn is from DeWitt, MI and has been part of the USA National Team since ’06. She is known for her laser focus. Her coaches say she rarely gets distracted when she’s practicing. She’s a natural athlete and was born to perform. Jordyn hopes to one day meet her favorite singer, Justin Bieber! London Olympics are just 15 days away. For more on Jordyn, go to http://www.nbcolympics.com/athletes/athlete=jordyn-wieber/index.html

Alexandra Raisman from Needham, MA, finished third at the Olympic trials with the highest scores on beam and floor. That performance won her a spot on the US Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Team. Known as “Aly” to those close to her, she is the oldest of the four kids in her family and loves to compete. She also enjoys shopping and hanging with friends. We can’t wait to see this talented 18-year-old her and her teammates go for the gold in London. For more on Alexandra, go to http://www.nbcolympics.com/athletes/athlete=aly-raisman/index.html

Kyla Ross, at 15 years old, is the youngest member of the US Women’s Olympic Gymnastics Team competing in London. She earned her nickname “Mighty Mouse” by always being strong and full of energy...even as a baby. Her parents say she was climbing on things and holding on before she could even walk. She was plenty mighty when she came in 5th in the all-around at the Olympic trials and placed first on bars. She was born in Honolulu Hawaii but resides in Aliso Viejo, CA. For more about Kyla, go to http://www.nbcolympics.com/athletes/athlete=kyla-ross/index.html

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