“Gymnastics has been a part of my everyday life for as long as I can remember, so it’s surreal to officially conclude my competitive career, but I’m beyond excited for what’s ahead.” – Jonathan Horton
June 19, 2017, Houston, TX – After a stellar career including two trips to the Olympic Games, Jonathan Horton (Cypress Academy) has announced his retirement from competitive gymnastics.
“Gymnastics has been a part of my everyday life for as long as I can remember, so it’s surreal to officially conclude my competitive career, but I’m beyond excited for what’s ahead,” Horton said. “I leave the sport having been blessed with amazing teammates, incredible friends, life-changing opportunities and tremendous memories that will forever be a part of me.”
Horton was the U.S. National Champion in both 2009 and 2010 and won a host of individual event medals throughout his career. On the international elite scene, Horton was one of the most successful athletes for the United States, representing the country at five World Championship competitions and two Olympic Games (2008 and 2012), earning a bronze with Team USA and an individual silver on high bar. He was the World all-around bronze medalist in 2006 and was named USA Gymnastics Athlete of the Year in 2008. Horton also had a stellar NCAA career at the University of Oklahoma, where he met his wife Haley, also an elite gymnast and athlete for the University of Oklahoma. At OU, Horton helped lead his team to three NCAA Championship titles, and was the Nissen-Emery Award recipient, considered the Heisman Trophy of men’s gymnastics. He was also the NCAA All-Around Champion in 2006.
In addition to his gymnastics success, Horton earned international acclaim for his record-breaking showing on the hit television series American Ninja Warrior. Horton became the shortest man ever to conquer the warped wall, inspiring millions with his gritty performance and captivating personality. Horton continued his Ninja Warrior pursuits on Monday, June 19 on NBC. A huge viewing party for the event was held in Houston for the airing. Horton noted, “The people of Houston have been so supportive throughout my career and it was a fun night of connecting and celebrating.”
As Horton concludes his competitive gymnastics career, he plans to turn his focus to motivational speaking, sports and fitness ventures as well as television and web commentary. He served on NBC’s commentary team for online gymnastics coverage of the 2016 Olympic Games as well as NBCSN’s coverage of international gymnastics events. “Serving as a commentator for online coverage of the 2016 Olympic Games was an honor and I realized then just how much I loved being able to share my experiences and knowledge, while connecting with viewers to help them better understand the sport. I’m excited to continue to pursue these opportunities and stay connected to the sport in that capacity.”
Horton is passionate about sharing his story and inspiring others, having spoken through the years to groups of students, athletes, and high profile corporate audiences, including BMW, Deloitte, and BP. In Horton’s motivational speaking, he tells audiences about climbing from the depths of the sport to its grandest stage, the Olympic Games, through persistence and unwavering dedication. “I’ve finished at the bottom of the pack at the World Championships and I had the privilege of standing on the podium with my teammates on the greatest stage, the Olympic Games. Through it all, I’ve learned that your mindset controls your destiny and I enjoy sharing what’s helped me through the highs and lows throughout my 27-year gymnastics career. I’m excited to turn the page and open the book on the next chapter!
Horton has appeared on four covers of Inside Gymnastics. Check out our back issue at ShopInsideNation.com!