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US Olympic Gymnastics Team: Top Injury Concerns Going into London 2012

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 8: McKayla Maroney competes in the floor event during the Senior Women's competition on day two of the Visa Championships at Chaifetz Arena on June 8, 2012 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Josh SchochAnalyst IIIJuly 9, 2012

Injuries have killed the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team in recent Games, especially the women in Athens and Beijing. Now the team has a few injuries that could stand in the way of a gold medal during the London Games as well.

Both the men's and women's gymnastics teams have injury concerns that could potentially derail them from their path to gold in London.

If the Americans are going to win a team gold in the Olympics this year, they cannot be stopped by these injuries.

 

Jonathan Horton

A foot injury could keep Horton from doing his best in London this year. He broke two bones and tore a ligament in his foot in October, which looked like a major setback.

Doctors told him he wouldn't be able to compete for another nine months, which would mark the start of the London Games.

Horton has worked his way back and has qualified for a second Games, but his foot is still a concern. I'm not entirely convinced that he is at 100 percent, and that he won't suffer a setback in London, or while training.

It's a miracle that Horton is even competing right now, and hopefully it won't end with an even worse injury.

 

McKayla Maroney

After a head injury during training, Maroney didn't even compete in the finals of the U.S. gymnastics championships.

Maroney showed signs of a concussion and was hospitalized after hitting her head with such force that the sound could be heard throughout the gym.

This looked like a nasty injury that could easily keep her out of the Olympics. After all, it happened in mid-June, and was just a few weeks before trials.

However, Maroney fought on and won herself a spot on the team.

Head injuries can be dangerous, and there is a very real chance that this one will hold her back in London.

 

John Orozco

An injury in 2010 shouldn't be a big deal for most athletes, but when you're a gymnast and that injury was an Achilles tear, it could pose problems.

Orozco is arguably the best gymnast the U.S. men's gymnastics team has, and the team can't afford to have one of its two stars go down early in the competition.

He tore his Achilles almost two years ago, but the fear of a setback or recurrence hangs over his head when he competes.

Orozco might not think about it, but the fact that he suffered such a grisly injury weighs heavily on the minds of fans and experts. If he can't perform at an elite level, the U.S. team is in serious trouble and might not be able to medal without him.

 

Sam Mikulak

An injured left ankle kept Mikulak out of every event except for the pommel horse during the finals of Olympic trials, but he made the team.

An ankle injury that was so bad that it took him out of multiple events raises questions about whether or not he will be able to compete in London, let alone compete at a high level.

Mikulak is a great gymnast who could have had a huge impact across the pond during the Games, but this injury could hold him back.

 

If the men's team is to win a medal in London, Mikulak has to be productive.

 

Injuries in London

The biggest concern for the U.S. team should be injuries that are suffered during the Games.

The last few Olympics have been catastrophic for the Americans in terms of the injuries they've suffered, especially last-minute ones. If that trend continues, neither team may be deep enough to win gold.

Americans can only hope that the third time really is the charm, and that there will be no major injuries during the Games.

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