An Olympic gymnastics team final is, of course, about a team effort. But when it comes to Team USA's failure to medal during the 2012 team finals in London, the blame truly does lie almost exclusively on the well-muscled shoulders of a single man: US champ John Orozco.
The 19-year-old, who automatically qualified for the US team following a stellar performance at the Trials, suffered near-complete meltdowns on two of his five events. Although the entire team struggled with the oft-challenging pommel horse, Orozco put up an unbelievably low 12.733. He turned in a good routine on rings, but landed on his rump while trying to land a vault. The vault whiff reduced the teen to tears, and effectively eliminated the US from medal contention.
To his credit, Orozco didn't shy away from accepting responsibility for his mistakes, which shows that he's a man of character. Following the competition, he posted to his Facebook page, writing, "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 here and represent USA as an Olympian. One more day to go for me and even if it is Individual All Around I wanna do my best for #TeamUSA Also a MASSIVE THANKS for all support from my fans,friends, and family!"
Can John Orozco shake off the spectre of his poor team finals routines? Hopefully so, because he'll compete for the 2012 Olympic men's gymnastics All-Around title on August 1. And he'll want to go into that with a clear head, ready to roll to gold.