By any standard, USA Olympic gymnast John Orozco has had a difficult 16 months. In February of last year, Orozco's mother, whom he considered his best friend, died unexpectedly on Valentines Day. Then, in June, Orozco tore his Achilles tendon for the second time in his career.
He felt like the everything was against him. “[M]y family life, my career, and my spirit seem to all be falling apart and crumbling into pieces," Orozco wrote on Facebook at the time.
For a moment, it seemed as if Orozco, who was so good in during the 2012 Olympic trials that he automatically qualified for the games, might not be able to make the cut for the Rio Olympics this summer. But on Saturday, at the Olympic trials in St. Louis, Missouri, Orozco overcame all the overwhelming adversity he has faced to just squeeze in.
According to NBC, it was his impressive high bar routine that led him to finish in the top five, securing a spot on the roster.
Shortly afterward, a very emotional Orozco spoke to the media.
"I can't put it into words," he told NBC. "The past year and a half that I've had, and all the people that doubted me -- I finally found the strength within myself to just go out there and do it."
"My mom was there the whole time and I know she's looking down on me and she's so proud," he said. "And if you can hear me, mom, I love you."