CNN's Jason Carroll talks to gymnast John Orozco, who is going for gold at the London Olympics.
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.
SAN JOSE -- The text arrived on Gabby Douglas' cell phone just two hours before she hit the floor for the final day of the U.S. women's gymnastics trials on Sunday. "Today's a new day, babe," it said. Those words came from Shawn Johnson, the four-time Olympic medalist who had been her teammate at Chow's gym in Des Moines for the last two years. In the front row of the HP Pavilion, a red, white and blue flag flew with the words, "I love America" and "Go Gabby Douglas" written on the white stripes. Timothy Douglas, the soldier carrying the flag was home from Afghanistan to cheer on his daughter. Still, with one final tumbling pass separating her from a sure spot on the Olympic team and perhaps first place at the trials, Gabby Douglas heard only the words of her own mind. "Stand up, stand up, stand up, don't sit down, don't fall, and did I mention stand up," she said. "That's all I could think about. One more landing."
SAN JOSE -- The new face of USA Gymnastics could finally take a bow on Saturday. Danell Leyva, the Olympic trials champion this weekend, and No. 2 John Orozco were announced to the crowd after Saturday's events as the top two gymnasts for the five-man team that will be finalized on Sunday morning. On the floor, Leyva signaled a thumbs-up to Yin Alvarez, his stepfather and coach who came from Cuba when Danell was one-year old to make a new life for the family. The normally calm and controlled Orozco looked into the stands and found his parents, William and Damaris, who raised the African-American son in the sometimes unfriendly New York borough of the Bronx. The roles reversed. The often emotional Leyva was exhaling and calm. By his own admission, a teary Orozco was about to have "a mini-meltdown. You know, kid from the Bronx, it doesn't happen every day." They are the new melting pot that has graced the surging U.S. program with talent, diligence and two great stories. "Look at this
In the accelerated shelf life of gymnastics, a 20-year-old may well be living on bonus time, a value-added second wind often guided by gumption and plied on gimpy knees. Shawn Johnson was not going to accomplish anything she hadn't already done.
Olympic gymnastics hopeful Jennifer Pinches talks to CNN about her inspiration and preparation.
In 1976, Romanian gymnast Nadia Comaneci was awarded the first perfect 10 in modern Olympic gymnastics history.
Decades later, gymnasts reveal horror stories of abuse, demand protections for young athletes. CNN's Casey Wian reports.
Anne Malver, then 11, thought she was heading to the trophy store with her gymnastics coach.
Great Britain's rhythmic gymnastics team has won an appeal against a decision by its own federation to exclude them from the London 2012 Olympics.
1. Jordyn Wieber will be NBC's "it" girl in 2012. Wieber, 16, exceeded considerable hype in her first year as a senior gymnast. She capped a 2011 all-around trifecta by edging Russian cofavorite Viktoria Komova, also 16, for the world championship, one of her three medals won this past week in Tokyo. Wieber had put everyone on notice in March, defeating 2010 world champion Aliya Mustafina at the American Cup, and in August, winning the U.S. title by the largest margin since the sport scrapped the perfect 10 in 2006.
The World Olympic Gymnastics Academy in Plano, Texas, wears its reputation on its windows.
The U.S. women's water polo team went silver, bronze, silver in the last three Olympics, but it's been nothing but golden in the run up to 2012.
In 1981, Marta Karolyi defected from Romania with her husband, Bela, beginning what evolved into a coaching dynasty that transformed gymnastics in the United States. Having guided Nadia Comaneci to an Olympic all-around title in 1976, Bela opened a gym in Houston and later coached several world and Olympic gold medalists, including Mary Lou Retton, Julianne McNamara, Kim Zmeskal, Dominique Dawes and Kerri Strug. In 2000, with the U.S. program sputtering, Marta assumed the position of Olympic head coach, while Bela took over the newly formed position of national team coordinator. The following year, Marta replaced Bela as the coordinator, bringing a disposition to the task that was seemingly more acceptable to personal coaches, who often clashed with her husband. Since then, U.S. women have won multiple medals at every world and Olympic competition, something that once would have seemed impossible. On Saturday, Marta Karolyi spoke from the World Gymnastics Championships in Rotterdam,
The punishment for U.S. quarter-miler LaShawn Merritt has been set at 21 months after the two-time Olympic champ tested positive three times for Dehydroepiandrosterone, a drug contained in a product he said he took to improve his sex life. Though Merritt could be eligible to return before the London Games, since his suspension was retroactive to October 2009, an IOC rule prohibits him as a banned athlete from actually taking part in the next Olympics. Merritt won gold at the Beijing Olympics in both the 400 meters and the 4x400-meter relay. He also won golds in both events at the world championships in Berlin last summer.
The inaugural Youth Olympic Games opened over the weekend in Singapore, where 3,600 athletes from 200 countries were entered in 24 sports.
As sprinting announcements go, this one isn't official until all the hamstrings and egos are actually in the starting blocks, but barring a late withdrawal, the 100 meters at the DN Galan Diamond League track meet in Stockholm on Friday night could be the highlight of the season. Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt has announced that he will be sprinting against a field that includes his countryman Asafa Powell and Tyson Gay of the U.S., a loaded roster that the sport rarely sees outside of Olympics and world championships. Since athletes often duck and dodge rivals to protect their reputation, Bolt's participation is further sign that -- with his most recent defeat coming in 2008 -- he has no serious challengers.
Kayla Berg was thrilled to return last August to Antigo, Wisconsin, where she looked forward to competing on the high school gymnastics team.
Everything was set up for a U.S. record last Saturday in the 10,000 at the Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational at Stanford. The weather was crisp and cool, the pacers were in place, and Galen Rupp, the former Oregon star, was in shape to go under the mark of 27 minutes, 13.98 seconds set on the same track by Meb Keflezighi in 2001. All went according to plan for Rupp, who ran the distance in 27:10.74. But it wasn't enough.
Take a look back at how the little gymnast that could upset front-runners Gilles Marini and Melissa Rycroft
A Florida man told police he drove across the country to meet "Dancing with the Stars" contestant Shawn Johnson because she was communicating with him through the television, according to a restraining order application filed this week.
The gold medalist and her husband Mike Canales add a boy to their growing family
A probe clears China's gold medal squad after an investigation into their ages.
The Chinese women's gymnastics team did not use underage competitors during this year's Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, the International Gymnastics Federation said Wednesday.
So-called "age-doping" may be the scandal about to break over women's gymnastics. But are there lab tests to quantify how old you are?
Questions remain over the true ages of China's female gymnasts. CNN's John Vause reports.
The International Olympic Committee has asked gymnastics officials to look into whether China's women's gymnastics team used underaged competitors, an IOC spokeswoman said Friday.
CNN's John Vause reports bloggers are on a mission to find out just how old China's gymnasts are.
Viewpoint: There's no question that the women competing in Beijing aren't anything but athletic. But should synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics remain in the Games?
The vaunted Olympic spirit is terrible for competition. What we need, says Joel Stein, are some anti-medals, and a new scoring system
Recently I asked a Chinese journalist about the underage gymnast controversy. What, I asked her, did Chinese sportswriters who cover gymnastics think about the assertions that at least three of the members of the Chinese team were under 16? Was it western prejudice? Sour grapes? A cultural misunderstanding?
Despite all the injuries, America's men and women ended up winning more gymnastics medals than their 2004 counterparts
The American gymnasts closed out their Beijing stay in spectacular style Tuesday, with Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin adding to their medal haul by winning gold and silver in the balance beam, and Jonathon Horton, who'd led the men to a bronze in the team competition, unexpectedly taking the silver medal in the high bar.
Usain Bolt makes the impossible seem commonplace. His running has been so spectacular here that he has forced hard-traveled track scribes to consider the question: Can Bolt break Michael Johnson's 12-year-old record in the 200? The time to beat is 19.32.
BEIJING -- Finally, a judging controversy. Not that the gymnastics judging in Beijing has been beyond reproach -- China's Cheng Fei won a bronze medal last night in the vault despite landing once on her knees -- but Monday's uneven bars scoring, which kept Nastia Liukin from winning, or at least sharing, a second gold medal, finally brought attention to the peculiarities of a FIG judging system that is desperately in need of an overhaul.
BEIJING -- It was another near miss for Shawn Johnson on Sunday, as she took home her third silver medal of the Games, this one in the floor exercise. Nastia Liukin, who became the all-around gold medalist two nights earlier, added a bronze in the floor to her growing collection, so she now has one medal of each color from these Games. Chances are there will be more to come.
Well, there's always 48 Hours Mystery on CBS, and ABC appears to be showing another can't-miss episode of Eli Stone. Of course, if you're reading this, it's a safe bet you'll be watching the Michael Phelps coronation. If Phelps and his teammates win the 4x100 medley relay (bet the house, the vacation house and all your other possessions on it), he will become the all-time leader in gold medals in a single games with eight. The scheduled time of the race is 10:58 p.m., the final event of the swimming program in Beijing. "The U.S. should win unless something goes wrong," says Sports Illustrated's Brian Cazeneuve. "But keep in mind that the last time they swam this event at a major competition -- the world championships in 2007 -- something went very wrong. The team was disqualified because of an illegal exchange. Barring that, I just don't think there is a team with four swimmers at the level of the U.S."
Last month Mark Spitz ambled into Sports Illustrated's New York offices for a 25-minute meet and greet, one of the many whistle stops for Spitz on behalf of the pharmaceutical company Allergan, which pays him some handsome gold to work as a corporate spokesperson. Naturally the conversation turned to the comparisons with Michael Phelps:
If carb-loading were an Olympic competition, U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps would probably medal there, too. His day starts with three cheese-tomato-onion-fried egg sandwiches, an omelet, three powdered-sugar-covered slices of French toast, a bowl of grits and three chocolate chip pancakes to top it off, according to news reports.
With her Olympic legacy on the line, Nastia Liukin stood by the floor exercise mat as gold and silver hung in the balance at the women's all-around gymnastics championship.
Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson bounce back from their team disappointment, finishing 1-2
A rural camp helps women's gymnastics team rise to the top. CNN's Larry Smith reports.
The book says the battle for gold in the women's all-around competition will be between Shawn Johnson of West Des Moines, Iowa, and Nastia Liukin of Parker, Texas, an all-American confrontation between teammates and, even better, roommates.
SI.com caught up with senior writer E.M. Swift to get his thoughts on the controversy surrounding the Chinese gymnasts heading into Friday's all-around competition. Under Olympic regulations, female gymnasts must turn 16 during the year of competition. China scored 188.900 for its team victory. The United States won silver by scoring 186.525. (See photos of the suspect Chinese gymnasts here.)
The Chinese gymnasts could have picked out their leotards from Thumbelina's closet as they performed gymnastics in miniature on Wednesday. Wearing blue eye shadow with their hair pulled back, He Kexin, Jiang Yuyuan and Yang Yilin looked like girls who had just rummaged through their mothers' makeup. This was a ladies' final, though somehow it was hard to see how they qualified as women.
BEIJING -- The night before the showdown with the Chinese, the U.S. women's gymnastics team gathered in Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin's room in the Olympic Village and watched the movie Miracle, which tells the story of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team's miraculous gold medal run.
"Any color [medal] is amazing," says American Nastia Liukin
Key errors ended the US women's team's gold medal hopes. But injuries and a new scoring system also played a role
They won the team gold, but the Chinese women have not been able to shake allegations that they are actually just girls
Asked before the start of the Games about the American athletes with the requisite charisma to explode off the screen, NBC Sports and Olympics executive producer David Neal cited three names that stood above the rest: Michael Phelps, Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin. "They all have it," Neal said.
The showdown is upon us. It's showtime. With all due respect to devotees of Anglo-Sino basketball, the 100-meter dash and Michael Phelps, here comes the marquee event of these Beijing Games: the women's gymnastics team finals.
BEIJING -- All bronze medals are not created equal.
The host nation defeated its great rival Japan, as the men laid to rest the disappointment of a fifth place finish at the last Olympics
The U.S. women easily qualified for the gymnastics team finals on Sunday, but finished a disappointing 1.475 points behind their chief rivals, the Chinese, who competed in the subdivision before them. As a result, the Chinese will be favored to win gold when the two teams square off again in Wednesday's finals.
BEIJING -- Led by Jonathan Horton, the pride of the Oklahoma Sooners, and Alexander (Sasha) Artemov, the alternate who didn't find out he was on the team till 10 p.m. Wednesday night, the U.S. men's gymnastics team qualified on Saturday for the team finals, which will be held Tuesday.
BEIJING -- Who's got more pressure on them in Beijing? The Chinese women's gymnastics team, which has never won an Olympic team title and is looking to ride a wave of hometown support to end that surprising drought? Or the U.S. women, the defending world champions, whose only Olympic team title was brought home by the legendary "Magnificent Seven" in 1996?
Two members of the gymnastics squad have to step down from key events because of injuries, putting the team's prospects in doubt
Doug Johnson gave away the secret less than a minute into the conversation. "Well," Johnson says, "we didn't set out to raise an elite athlete."
Paul Hamm won't be going to the Beijing Olympics, after all. The reigning Olympic gold medalist announced Monday that he is withdrawing from the U.S. team because he is not sufficiently healthy enough to compete
Don't even think about missing the women's gymnastics competition in Beijing. Bag the basketball, if you must. Torpedo the track and field. By all means, skip the swimming. But cancel all plans the night of the ladies' team final, Wed., Aug. 13, because the U.S. and China will be fighting World War III on four inches of the balance beam.
The Olympic trials in men's gymnastics are over, and on Saturday night the selection committee named Paul Hamm and Jonathon Horton to the team that goes to Beijing (provided that a month from now Hamm shows USA Gymnastics that the broken bone in his hand has healed and he's ready to compete).
On June 9, Shannon Miller, the most decorated gymnast in U.S. history, will join UCLA softball coach Sue Enquist, former LPGA golfer Hisako Higuchi and Algerian track star Hassiba Boulmerka as the latest class of inductees into the International Women's Sports Hall of Fame. Miller will also be part of this year's U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame class in the team category along with her "Magnificent Seven" teammates, the first U.S. women's gymnastics team to win Olympic gold. The class will be inducted June 19. Below, SI.com catches up with the 31-year-old Miller:
A new study shows that gymnastics causes as many injuries as ice hockey or soccer, but improved equipment is helping
One thing was missing. Paul Hamm had his gold medal, and U.S. men's gymnastics, for the first time in its history, had the Olympic all-around champion--the best male gymnast in the world.
Olympic gold-winning gymnast Dominique Moceanu and her husband, Dr. Michael Canales, welcomed their first child, daughter Carmen Noel Canales, on Christmas Day, the couple tell PEOPLE exclusively.
Here are the key takeaways from this week's World Gymnastics championships in Stuttgart:
The U.S. men's gymnastics team's dream of winning a medal at the World Championships came crashing onto a thick, blue mat beneath the high bar Thursday afternoon here in Stuttgart.
On Tuesday the U.S. men's gymnastics team sent a spirited message during the qualifying round of the world championships in Stuttgart: Last year's 13th-place finish at these championships was the fluke, not the 2004 Olympic silver medal. And yes, there will be life for this team after Paul and Morgan Hamm, neither of whom are in Stuttgart.
Flash back to the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea, where the former Soviet Union assembled perhaps the most dominant men's gymnastics team on record. Two of the members, Valeri Liukin and Dmitri Bilozerchev, combined to win eight medals. Bilozerchev also won world all-around titles in 1983 and 1987. So this past weekend marked an odd reunion of sorts when both gymnasts were coaching their Moscow-born children at the U.S. Championships in San Jose.
Olympic priority: Food
Each week SI.com will select the athlete who displays excellence on and off the field as the Primetime Performer.
Gymnast Paul Hamm became the first-ever American to win the men's all-around title in one of the closest-ever Olympic competitions. South Korea protested saying a scoring error cost them the gold medal.
CATCHER TODD ZEILE received a great deal of attention at the St. Louis Cardinals' training camp in the spring of 1989 because he was a talented baseball prospect. But Todd got even more attention b...
WHO WILL WIN THIS GYMNASTICS MEET? Smith S. Smith? Maybe Wayne ''the Lone'' Ranger? Study the picture and clues below to figure out the winner's name and event. The answer is on page 66.