Just a year after he tore his right Achilles' tendon, John Orozco told IG that confidence and composure were keys to his third place all-around finish at the recent Visa (U.S.) Championships in St. Paul.
John Orozco (U.S.)
"What really helped me in St. Paul was to trying to stay focused throughout the competition," said the 18-year-old Orozco, who got injured on vault in the same meet in 2010. "Also, I tried not to put a lot of pressure on myself since it was my first Visa Championships as a senior and my second competition since my injury."
Orozco, who was named to the U.S. team that will compete at the world championships in Tokyo in October, said he has recovered from his injury but sometimes feels pain.
"At this point my Achilles' is technically 100 percent healed but I still deal with pain often when I practice floor or vault," said Orozco, the 2009 U.S. all-around champion in the 14-15 age group. "According to doctors and the therapist, the pain I'm feeling now is scar tissue breaking up and is normal after the surgery I had."
Since his injury, Orozco said his training is both cautious and aggressive.
"I've been trying not to favor my right Achilles' too much because I have to break up the scar tissue, which is causing me some discomfort," said Orozco, a New Yorker who now is coached by Vitaly Marinitch at U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado. "The best way to do that is to stretch it a lot, keep tumbling and practicing vault, and push through the discomfort."
Orozco said his goal for Tokyo is a steady, polished performance.
"From now until the world championships, I'm just going to focus on trying to make my routines consistent and clean," he told IG.
Read about Orozco's performance at the 2011 Visa Championships in the September 2011 issue of International Gymnast magazine.