A Google search for "US Gymnast Achilles" led me to Alicia Sacramone, as well as my primary Google target, John Orozco. My mom had told me about Orozco's story, and I saw him yesterday competing at the London Olympics, at the world's highest level. I vaguely remember Sacramone from Beijing 2008.
Both Sacramone and Orozco suffered Achilles tendon tears, Orozco at the 2010 US National Visa Championships, and Sacramone in 2011, as she prepped for the World Championships. Sacramone didn't make the Olympic team this year, while Orozco has been competing well in early gymnastics qualifying.
I cannot imagine competing at the top of the sport, doing jumps and vaults and dismounts at such high speed and such high intensity. A big reason, I guess, why we don't see 36-year-old gymnasts.
Good for Sacramone and Orozco. Guess who I'll be rooting for in men's gymnastics?