American gymnast John Orozco has not lived up to the hype at the London Olympics. Instead, he's let the pressure implode him.
During Monday's team gymnastics final, Orozco stumbled in the vault and pommel horse routines as the United States' podium hopes slipped away. The two hiccups left the U.S. in fifth place and the 19-year-old on the verge of tears.
Orozco was rattled after the mistakes, as Marc Berman of the New York Post reported:
“After the vault, for me, it was like, two routines have been destroyed,’’ Orozco said. “I wasn’t feeling great personally, but I tried to go in the uneven bars and high bars and finish up on a good note.’’
On Twitter, Orozco took the blame:
Can't make excuses for myself but I'm very proud of team USA. We fought and gave it our all. I'm thankful to be... fb.me/1VKfUbznT
— John Orozco (@JohnW_Orozco) July 30, 2012
Wednesday was supposed to be the day Orozco broke out as the Americans competed in the men's individual all-around. It was supposed to be his time to shine.
Instead, it was more of the same for the Bronx, N.Y., native, as Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times indicated:
Orozco and the Cuban-born Leyva fumbled their way through their routines on the pommel horse, the second of their six rotations, leaving them both near the bottom of the 24-man field.
But while Danell Leyva regathered himself for a bronze finish, the 5'5", 161-pound Orozco did not medal, ending Wednesday in eighth place.
His debacle on the pommel horse derailed his performance, as he got hinged on the saddle and earned a score of 12.566—the second-worst output of the routine. That alone was enough to destroy an otherwise solid performance.
What has gotten to Orozco? The toughened youngster has been hit hard by his shortcomings. At this point, it's all mental.
It's been one or two disastrous mistakes after another. And, unfortunately, Orozco's issues may never reach an uplifting conclusion.
Right now, the biggest stage is shining far too bright for the American with so much promise.