John Orozco – No Gold, But Still a Champion by any Measure


Olympic gymnast John Orozco may not have medaled at the 2012 London Olympics, but he still has reason to hold his head high. John started life as a poor boy from the Bronx who happened to like gymnastics. His parents enrolled him in a gymnastics class, and that started it all…..

Although it was not easy for John and his family, they were committed to his success. Despite financial hardship, doing a sport that was not the norm in the Bronx, and the necessity of long hours in a gym far away from home, John and his family sacrificed and worked tirelessly together. John began working as a young teen to help with finances and his family did whatever it took to get him to meets and practices (even sleeping in their car at times!), all so that John could achieve his Olympic dream.

When John finally arrived at the 2012 London Olympics, he felt he finally had the opportunity in front of him – if he won gold – to achieve fame and be able to provide for his family.  While he did not win a medal, his character, determination and heart provided inspiration to young people around the world.  In this sense, John Orozco was among the greatest winners at the London Olympics.

In this video, John talks about his tremendous gymnastics journey.

Additional Resources:

  • Here’s an article that tells all about John and his inspirational success!
  • This video tells more about John and the amazing determination that got him to the Olympics.

See more US News from ABC|ABC World News

Topics for Discussion:

  • What qualities do John and his family have that made them able to sacrifice so much for John’s success?
  • How do you think John feels now that he has obtained his dream of being in the Olympics?

Take Action:

  • Do you have an “Olympic-sized” dream? Be inspired by John and start making it come true today!
  • Visit the Olympic website to learn about “olympism”, or building a better world through sport, and how you can help support it!

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.


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