John Orozco’s second Olympic bid ended before it could start.
The Bronx-born gymnast tore the anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus in his left knee while dismounting from the horizontal bar during Olympic team training camp, U.S.A. Gymnastics announced Friday. The knee injury is the same one he suffered in October 2012 and, as a result, he will miss the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro. Danell Leyva of Miami/Team Hilton will take his spot.
“It is always difficult to replace an Olympic team member,” Kevin Mazeika, the U.S. men’s national team coordinator, said in a release. “John’s injury is unfortunate and heartbreaking news, but he is handling the situation like the true professional and champion that he is. He’s fully supporting the team and its goals moving ahead.”
Orozco, who lives and trains at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, won the U.S. championship in 2012 and competed in the London Olympics, where the U.S. finished fifth in the artistic team all-around and he placed eighth in the artistic individual all-around. The 23-year-old had been working toward a comeback after a trying 2015 that included the death of his mother, Damaris, and the re-tearing of an Achilles tendon. Less than a year after the injury, Orozco finished second on high bar, seventh on the pommel horse and sixth on parallel bars at the trials in June to earn a spot on the Olympic roster.
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