John Orozco

John Orozco tears Achilles again

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U.S. Olympic gymnast John Orozco retore an Achilles on Monday and will have surgery Friday, according to his social media.

“My family life, my career, and my spirit seem to all be falling apart and crumbling into pieces,” was posted on Orozco’s Instagram and Facebook. “My faith has really been shaken these past few months. I just keep asking myself “why is this happening right now?” “Where’s the lesson in this?” I’m counting my blessings and weathering this storm because it’s the only choice I have.”

Orozco suffered the injury performing a double twisting back on floor exercise in a normal training session, USA Gymnastics men’s vice president Dennis McIntyre said in an email.

“Upon landing [Orozco] took a couple of steps and then noted to [coach] Vitaly [Marinitch] that he may have injured his achilles,” McIntyre said. “During the entire time from injury to initial diagnosis, John was calm but certainly concerned about the extent of the injury.”

McIntyre said the general prognosis for recovery time for Orozco’s injury is six to 12 months to full use, though it’s dependent on several factors and would be more definitive after Orozco’s surgery Friday.

Orozco, 22, also tore an Achilles in 2010 and battled back to make his first World Championships team in 2011, win the 2012 U.S. all-around title and make his first Olympic team. He suffered that first torn Achilles on Aug. 11, 2010, and competed in four events at the Japan Cup on July 2, 2011.

Later in 2012, he suffered a torn left ACL and associated meniscus damage on a parallel bars dismount during a post-Olympic tour that October.

Again, he came back. Orozco made the 2013 World Championships team, earned his first individual Worlds medal, bronze on parallel bars, and made the World Championships team again in 2014.

This year, Orozco’s mother, Damaris, died in February. Damaris, who had lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, used to drive him daily from the Bronx to the hamlet Chappaqua for gymnastics practice, usually more than an hour away with traffic.

This year’s P&G Championships are Aug. 13-16 in Indianapolis. The World Championships are the last week of October in Glasgow, Scotland.

The 2016 P&G Championships are June 3-5 in Hartford. The 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials are June 24-26 in St. Louis.

John Orozco’s mom on his mind at P&G Championships

Mondray afternoon I re-tore my Achilles during practice on floor. Surgery is scheduled tomorrow morning. My family life,…

Posted by John Orozco on Thursday, June 18, 2015

Johnny Gregorek runs fastest blue jeans mile in history

Johnny Gregorek
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Johnny Gregorek, a U.S. Olympic hopeful runner, clocked what is believed to be the fastest mile in history for somebody wearing jeans.

Gregorek recorded a reported 4 minutes, 6.25 seconds, on Saturday to break the record by more than five seconds (with a pacer for the first two-plus laps). Gregorek, after the record run streamed live on his Instagram, said he wore a pair of 100 percent cotton Levi’s.

Gregorek, the 28-year-old son of a 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympic steeplechaser, finished 10th in the 2017 World Championships 1500m. He was sixth at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

He ranked No. 1 in the country for the indoor mile in 2019, clocking 3:49.98. His outdoor mile personal best is 3:52.94, ranking him 30th in American history.

Before the attempt, a fundraiser was started for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, garnering more than $29,000. Gregorek ran in memory of younger brother Patrick, who died suddenly in March 2019.

“Paddy was a fan of anything silly,” Gregorek posted. “I think an all out mile in jeans would tickle him sufficiently!”

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U.S. Open mulls no fans, group flights, coronavirus tests as decision looms

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Charter flights to ferry U.S. Open tennis players and limited entourages from Europe, South America and the Middle East to New York. Negative COVID-19 tests before traveling. Centralized housing. Daily temperature checks.

No spectators. Fewer on-court officials. No locker-room access on practice days.

All are among the scenarios being considered for the 2020 U.S. Open — if it is held at all amid the coronavirus pandemic — and described to The Associated Press by a high-ranking official at the Grand Slam tournament.

“All of this is still fluid,” Stacey Allaster, the U.S. Tennis Association’s chief executive for professional tennis, said in a telephone interview Saturday. “We have made no decisions at all.”

With that caveat, Allaster added that if the USTA board does decide to go forward with the Open, she expects it to be held at its usual site and in its usual spot on the calendar. The main draw is scheduled to start Aug. 31.

“We continue to be, I would say, 150% focused on staging a safe environment for conducting a U.S. Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on our dates. It’s all I wake up — our team wakes up — thinking about,” Allaster said. “The idea of an alternative venue, an alternative date … we’ve got a responsibility to explore it, but it doesn’t have a lot of momentum.”

An announcement should come from “mid-June to end of June,” Allaster said.

All sanctioned competition has been suspended by the ATP, WTA and International Tennis Federation since March and is on hold until late July.

The French Open was postponed from May to September; Wimbledon was canceled for the first time since 1945.

There is no established COVID-19 protocol for tennis, a global sport with several governing bodies.

“Everybody would agree to the fundamental principles, I’m sure: protecting the health of participants, following the local laws and minimizing the risk of the transmission of the virus,” said Stuart Miller, who is overseeing the ITF’s return-to-tennis policy. “But then you have to get down into the specific details.”

One such detail: The USTA wants to add locker rooms — including at indoor courts that housed hundreds of temporary hospital beds at the height of New York’s coronavirus outbreak — and improve air filtration in existing spaces. Also being considered: no locker-room access until just before a match. So if anyone goes to Flushing Meadows just to train, Allaster said, “You come, you practice, and return to the hotel.”

The USTA presented its operational plan to a medical advisory group Friday; now that will be discussed with city, state and federal government officials.

MORE: Olympic tennis: Key questions for Tokyo Games in 2021

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