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US Olympians Reflect on Journey to Beijing Games

  • Roger Hsu

U.S. Gymnast Jonathan Horton is known for his daredevil moves on the high bar and is the U.S. teams best chance at gold in the all-around competition at the Beijing Olympics. . His teammate, 24-year-old Justin Spring, had to overcome a string of injuries to earn a spot on the U.S. team.

During a recent interview with VOA's Roger Hsu, The two Olympic athletes discussed their individual paths to the Beijing Games:

Jonathan Horton, U.S. Olympic gymnast: "It's the best I've ever felt in my life. My body feels great, mentally where I want to be right now. I'm just trying to keep myself healthy and strong and enjoy the process."

Justin Spring, U.S. Olympic gymnast says "It's going well, I am actually feeling really good going into this Olympics, the trials and USA's again. I am actually ahead of where I was last year I think. So I am feeling pretty good about the whole process."

Jonathan: "With so many competitions basically every weekend from the time you are freshman to senior, by the time you get to a competition like (the) U.S. Championships or the Olympic Trials you have that experience that backs you up, you become so confident that you don't really stress out that much before competition because you are so comfortable with what you are doing."

Justin: "There are more countries that attend the Olympic games than the United Nations and I think that says something about what the Olympic games is about. It is unifying countries under something we have in common. That's our competitive nature and the belief that we all love sports and we are all competitive in nature as humans. That's what (the) Olympics are about. It's coming together for that purpose."

Jonathan: "We are training twice a day, three times a week and about three, four hours in the afternoon. Right now it's mainly routine after routine after routine just trying to become consistent and confident in what I am doing."

Justin: "Dealing with the monotony of the routine is definitely an issue when you get toward the Olympics. You got your set and you just got to do about 100 of them, just keep plugging away, it's difficult."

Justin: "It's hard because you are training so much, you can't go out like play a softball game, you worry about being sore in weird places the next day."

Jonathan: "My girlfriend, she lives across the street from me and she keeps bringing me dogs. She picks up strays all the time, so right now I am taking care of a lot of animals, it's been taking up a lot of my time."

Justin: "I do a lot of house projects. I bought a house so actually I spend a lot of time working around my house. I am more domesticated than I ever thought I would be."

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