Best Of The Best

The top three finalists of last week’s 2014 USA Gymnastics National Championships’ mens all-around will be performing in Jamestown this December.

The Jamestown Savings Bank Arena will welcome Sam Mikulak, John Orozco and Jake Dalton – who placed first, second and third, respectively, at the national competition – when it hosts the third consecutive Progressive Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular on Dec. 13.

The gymnastics trio was confirmed this week through Steve Disson, coordinator of the Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular. Although this is the third such event to be held in Jamestown, only Orozco has any prior experience with the arena and Jamestown.

“Last year was the first time I did it, and it was a lot of fun,” Orozco said. “I always enjoy exhibition shows like that because it’s a fun way to get people into gymnastics without the stress of competing. So it kind of shows the fun side of gymnastics, which is going out there and performing for the audience.”

Orozco, 21, from Bronx, New York, currently resides in Colorado Springs and trains at the Olympic Training Center. He was a member of the world championships team that won the bronze medal in 2011 and was the 2012 all-around U.S. champion. He joined Mikulak on Team USA for the 2012 London Olympics, and is the 2014 U.S. high bar champion.

Dalton, 23, of the University of Oklahoma, was also a member of the 2012 London Olympic team and the 2011 bronze medalist team at the world championships. He was the U.S. vault champion in 2009, 2011 and 2012, and the floor champion in 2011, 2012 and 2014.

“I always enjoy doing things like this because you can really show off what you’ve trained for,” Dalton said when asked what he looked forward to most about participating in the Skating and Gymnastic Spectacular. “You can go out there and have fun and relax a little bit, and have a little more personality rather than being nervous and making sure you go out and hit your routine.”

“So I’m excited to be there, and I think it’s a cool thing for me and John and Sam to get together and put together something that will be not only fun for us to go out and do, but fun for the audience,” he continued. “And it’s cool that it expands our audience a little bit because it’s with ice skating too, so it promotes both sports.”

Mikulak, 21, of the University of Michigan, has been a gymnast since the age of 2. He is the 2013 and 2014 U.S. all-around champion and is a multi-NCAA champion in gymnastics, winning the all-around title in 2011, 2013 and 2014. He also competed in the 2012 London Olympics along with Orozco and Dalton, but was unable to compete in five of the six events due to a sprained ankle.

All three gymnasts will be competing for the U.S. in the 2014 World Championships in Nanning, China, from Oct. 3-13. This is will help ensure that they continue to stay in shape for the Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular in December, and could potentially make their Jamestown appearance even more significant based on the outcome of the championships.

In addition to benefits training for the world championships will provide, Mikulak said there may be an opportunity for some brand new routines to make their debut in Jamestown.

“Since the season will be ending during that time, I’ll be learning new skills,” he said. “So that might give me an opportunity to throw in some new elements, make some higher upgrades to my routine and have an opportunity to perform them in December.”

Also scheduled to appear as part of the 2014 Progressive Skating and Gymnastics Spectacular are: the Olympian figure skating duo of Meryl Davis and Charlie White, country star Danielle Bradbery and pop sensation Cody Simpson.

Tickets for the event are available online at www.jamestownarena.org or by calling the arena box office at 484-2624.