Jonathan Horton2008 USA Gymnastics Men’s Athlete of the Year, Olympic Silver Medalist, & 3 Seasons on American Ninja Warrior
About Jonathan Horton
Horton was named to the U.S. Olympic team following the 2008 Olympic Trials, where he was the all-around champion. The team entered the 2008 Beijing Olympics amongst much skepticism as to whether the team could compete against such established teams as the Japanese, Chinese, and German teams. Injuries had forced team leaders Paul Hamm and Morgan Hamm to withdraw from competition, causing the American team to bring in alternates Raj Bhavsar and Alexander Artemev. The American men performed better than anticipated, with Horton being the team’s top performer. The American team ended the competition with the bronze medal after a stressful pommel horse event. In the event finals, Horton placed ninth all-around and added a silver medal in the high bar event.
In 2009, Horton became the U.S. National Champion, and went on to compete in the 2009 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in London where he reached the finals in the all-around and on the horizontal bar.
In 2010, he competed in the American Cup where he placed second all-around. That summer he defended his national all-around title at the U.S. National Championships in Hartford. He was selected for the 2010 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Rotterdam, where the U.S. team placed fourth, and Horton won the all-around bronze medal.
In 2011 he won his third American Cup all-around title, and was captain of the U.S. team that won the bronze medal at the 2011 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. Although qualifying fifth all-around in the preliminary round, he was edged out by teammates Danell Leyva and John Orozco (only two athletes from each country were allowed to compete in individual event finals). Regarding this he said “I didn’t make the all-around final because two of my teammates are freakin’ awesome at gymnastics – but it doesn’t matter, because I’m all about the team”. During the team final, he had a bad landing on vault, injuring his left foot, but continued to compete. The next day he was unable to walk, yet after treatment competed on the rings. On returning home, it was discovered that the injury was worse than previously thought, with a torn ligament and broken two bones in a foot that would require surgery. Despite this setback in his training, he told media that it could actually make him stronger gymnast because ‘[he would] have an opportunity to get really strong on the other four events.’
In 2012 Horton qualified for the men’s artistic gymnastic 2012 London Olympic team. The New York Times stated that the team roster was “considered so good that it could be the first United States men’s team to win gold since the 1984 Los Angeles Games.” The team finished fifth, while Horton’s best result was sixth place on the horizontal bar.