CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – Optimism filled World Cup Gymnastics on Monday as coaches and students gathered to watch its most famous alum, John Orozco, compete for Olympic gold.
That optimism quickly turned to disappointment, however, as Orozco and the United States were knocked out of medal contention. The U.S. fought an uphill battle following mistake-laden pommel horse routines early in the men’s team event. The Bronx-born Orozco scored a team-low 12.733.
“They did well on the floor, but two guys fell on the pommel horse,“ said Jason Hebert, gym director and Orozco’s former coach. “That’s the event where you win or lose.”
The cheering section in Chappaqua had special “Team Orozco” shirts made up for the event, and dozens watched via live stream. A fire alarm pulled by a preschool student temporarily forced everyone outside, but the determined crowd innovated by gathering around a cell phone.
The team’s struggles continued during the vault, when Orozco fell trying to stick his landing, which had the Olympian fighting back tears. Orozco, though, found redemption with back-to-back 15.133 scores on the parallel bars and the high bar.
Despite the strong finish, the early struggles were too much to overcome for team U.S.A., which finished fifth. China won the event and took the gold, followed by Japan in second and Great Britain in third.
All is not lost for Orozco, though, who will be compete Wednesday in the all-around individual event. World Cup Gymnastics, 170 Hunts Lane, will host another viewing party at 11:30 a.m. to watch Orozco’s second chance at bringing home Olympic gold.