With the 2012 Summer Olympics less than one month away, Rant Sports is shining the spotlight on some of the amazing athletes who will represent Team USA in London this summer.
Today, we feature the most experienced member of the USA Men’s Gymnastics Olympic team, Jonathan Horton.
In October of 2011, Horton landed a vault badly, breaking two bones and tearing a ligament in his foot. Doctors told him that it would take 9 months for him to compete again, if ever. Horton, knowing that the Olympic Trials were less than 9 months away, decided that this was not acceptable.
Fast forward 8 months later, and Horton, finishing 3rd at the Olympic Trials in June, is headed to his second Olympic Games.
Horton, a native Texas and former NCAA champion at The University of Oklahoma, was a member of the USA Men’s Gymnastics team that won an improbable bronze team medal at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing . He added an individual silver of his own in the horizontal bars.
And now, he’s headed to London and another Olympic Games, this time, at 26-years-old, as the oldest member of the team.
He is hoping that his Olympic experience will pay off.
Though the Chinese men’s team have had a stronghold on the sport over the last several years, this year appears to be open for the taking. Though not the favorite to win the team gold, the US men’s team certainly has a shot to win it for the first time since they captured the team gold at the 1984 Olympic Games.
In fact, Peter Vidmar, the leader of the 1984 gold medal-winning team and current Chairman of the Board for USA Gymnastics, believes they have a great chance to capture the gold, adding:
“I think this is clearly one of the best teams we’ve ever, ever fielded.”
Horton and his teammates agree. For Horton, one thing keeps him focused and determined:
“I have one image in my head that motivates me every single day and that’s looking at the American flag raise up and me and my teammates standing on the awards podium at the Olympic Games receiving a gold medal.”
Join us later this week as we feature another member of Team USA who will be representing the United States in London later this summer.