July 26th, 2012
01:21 PM ET

Bronx native John Orozco an unlikely gymnastics star

By Jason Carroll and Vivienne Foley, CNN

New York (CNN) - John Orozco won his first medal in gymnastics when he was 9. But he didn't hold onto that medal for long, giving it to another boy in the competition who was in tears after being teased for a bad performance.

"He walked over to the kid that they were making fun of, and he said, 'Here you go,' and he took his medal off and put it around the kid and said, 'One day you'll be better than I am. Don't cry,' " says his mother, Damaris Orozco, who still gets choked up recalling that gesture.

"That's John. That's what he does. It's who he is."

That same Puerto Rican boy from the Bronx is now 19 and has made it all the way to the London Olympics. His heart is set on winning a gold medal - this one for his country. He may be the best hope for a U.S. gold medal in gymnastics in 2012.

Damaris Orozco says that she and her husband, William, are thrilled but not surprised their son made the Olympic team. "When that little boy told us when he was 10 years old, 'I want to go to 2012,' we believed him."

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soundoff (One Response)
  1. Jorge

    Unlikely why? Because he's a neorican kid from the Bronx??? Writers, do your research on the contemporary achievements of minority groups before you draft, not just rely on 30 year-old stereotypes. This article reads like it was written in 1980.

    July 30, 2012 at 8:28 am | Report abuse |