Jonathan Horton

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Jonathan Horton
— Gymnast —
Jonathan Horton.jpg
Personal information
Full name Jonathan Alan Horton
Nickname(s) Jon
Country represented United States
Born (1985-12-31) December 31, 1985 (age 33)
Houston, Texas
Height 5 ft 1 in (1.55 m)
Discipline Men's artistic gymnastics
Level Senior
Years on national team 2002–present
Club Team Hilton Honors
Gym Cypress Academy
College team University of Oklahoma[1][2]
Head coach(es) Tom Meadows
Former coach(es) Mark Williams

Jonathan Alan Horton (born December 31, 1985 in Houston, Texas to parents Robert and Margo Horton[3]) is an American gymnast. He is the 2008 Olympic silver medalist on high bar, 2010 Worlds all-around bronze medalist and a two-time U.S. National All-Around Champion. He is a 17-time medalist at the U.S. National Championships. He competed for the University of Oklahoma men's gymnastics team.

Jonathan began gymnastics at the age of four in 1990. "I was a wild child", Horton said, "I once climbed a pole in the middle of Target all the way to the ceiling. I used to do back flips on my parents' bed and I rode a garage door to the top when I was 3 years old."[4]

Before 2005

Jonathan made his debut as a Senior (despite still competing as a Junior) in 2002 competing at the U.S. National Championships in Cleveland, Ohio where he placed first on still rings and vault, placed second in the all-around and the floor exercise, and tied for fifth on the high bar. In 2003 he competed in the Winter Cup challenge, where he qualified to the individual event finals. Later that year he was chosen to compete for US at the Pan American Games in Santo Domingo where the men's team won Bronze and he placed fourth in the All-Around.

He competed in both the U.S. Nationals and the Olympic Team trials in 2004.

He was recruited by Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Penn State and committed to compete for the University of Oklahoma beginning in 2004 for the 2004–05 NCAA season.


From 2005–08 he competed for the Oklahoma Sooners men's gymnastics team alongside his 2010 & 2011 world teammates Chris Brooks and Steven Legendre. During his time competing for Oklahoma he won 6 NCAA titles and 18 All-American honors, breaking the record that had previously been set by Bart Conner. His OU record for titles and honors still stands.

In 2005, he once again competed at the Winter Cup, placing eighth all-around and was selected again for the U.S. National Team.

At the beginning of 2006, during his Second year at OU, he won Silver in the all-around at the Winter Cup. He went on to compete at the American Cup where he finished in first place, winning Gold in the All-Around and on Still Rings. That summer, he competed in the U.S. National Championships where he won Gold on floor, silver in the All-around and Bronze on the Horizontal Bar. His performances led to him being chosen to represent the U.S.A. at the 2006 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Aarhus. A very young and inexperienced worlds team, they finished 13th in the qualifying rounds not making the team finals.

In 2007 he competed at the Winter Cup and the American Cup again. He won his second consecutive American Cup All-Around title, the first male gymnast to do so since Blaine Wilson.[5] After competing in the NCAA and U.S. National Championships he was once again chosen for the 2007 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, where he finished fourth in the all-around and helped the U.S.A. qualify a full men's team to the 2008 Summer Olympics.

In 2008 he competed in Winter Cup, the American Cup as well as competing as a Senior for Oklahoma. That year the Sooners won the NCAA Championships, and Jonathan won another NCAA individual title on the Still Rings. At the U.S. National Championships in Houston, Jonathan won silver in the All-Around, as well as silver on Floor Exercise and Still Rings. This qualified him to the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials.

2008 Olympic Games

Horton was named to the U.S. Olympic team following the men's competition at the 2008 Olympic Trials, where he won the All-Around. 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, thus causing the American team to bring in alternates Raj Bhavsar and Alexander Artemev. The American men performed better than many had 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 in the All-Around and added a silver medal in the high bar event.[6][7]


In 2009, Jonathan became the US National Champion, and went on to compete in the 2009 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in London where he competed in the All-Around and Horizontal Bar finals.

In 2010, he competed in the American Cup where he placed second in the All-Around. That summer he defended his National All-Around title at the U.S. National Championships in Hartford. He was chosen for the team to compete at the 2010 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Rotterdam, where he was able once again to compete alongside his Sooner teammates, Chris Brooks and Steven Legendre. The team placed 4th, and Jonathan won the all-around bronze medal.

In 2011 he won his third American Cup All-Around title, and he was captain of the U.S. team that won the bronze medal at the 2011 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. Although qualifying 5th All-Around in the Prelimanary competition, he was edged out by his own teammates Danell Leyva and John Orozco who qualified ahead of him (only 2 athletes from each country are allowed to compete in individual event finals in world competitions). 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".[8] During the team final, he had a bad landing on Vault injuring his left foot, but continued to compete for the rest of the competition. The next day he was unable to walk, but after treatment decided to compete in the Still Rings final which he had never done before at a World Championships . On returning home, it was discovered that the injury was worse than previously thought with a torn ligament and broken 2 bones in his foot which 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.'[9][10]

In 2012 Horton qualified for the men's artistic gymnastic 2012 London Olympic team along with Jacob Dalton. The New York Times stated that the team roster is "considered so good that it could be the first United States men's team to win gold since the 1984 Los Angeles Games."[11]

Awards & Honours

Personal life

On June 20, 2009, he married Haley DeProspero, a former gymnast for the University of Oklahoma.[12] They have one son, David, together. Jonathan has one sister, Margo Tolbert, who works as a dance instructor.

National competition results

  • 2011 Visa Championships (US Nationals), Saint Paul, MN: 2nd-AA
  • 2010 Visa Championships (US Nationals), Hartford, CT: 1st-AA
  • 2009 Visa Championships (US Nationals), Dallas, TX.:1st-AA, HB, SR; 2nd-FX
  • 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials: 1st-AA
  • 2008 Visa Championships (US Nationals): 2nd-AA, SR; 3rd-FX
  • 2008 NCAA Championships: first team; 2nd-AA; 1st-SR
  • 2008 Winter Cup Challenge, Las Vegas, Nev.: 3rd-SR
  • 2007 Visa Championships, San Jose, Calif.: 4th-PB, SR; 6th-AA
  • 2007 NCAA Championships, State College, Pa.: 1st-FX, HB; 2nd-AA(T); 2nd-Team; 3rd-SR
  • 2007 Winter Cup Challenge, Las Vegas, Nev.: 2nd-FX(T); 4th-PB(T); 6th-HB
  • 2006 Visa Championships, St. Paul, Minn.: 1st-FX; 2nd-AA; 3rd-HB(T); 4th-SR
  • 2006 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships, Norman, Okla.: 1st-AA, FX, SR
  • 2006 Winter Cup Challenge, Las Vegas, Nev.: 2nd-AA; 3rd-FX, SR, HB
  • 2005 Visa Championships, Indianapolis, Ind.: 5th-AA, FX, VT
  • 2005 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships, West Point, N.Y.: 1st-Team; 3rd-AA, HB(T); 4th-FX
  • 2005 Winter Cup Challenge, Las Vegas, Nev.: 1st-FX(T); 4th-VT
  • 2004 Visa Championships, Nashville, Tenn.:
  • 2004 Winter Cup, Las Vegas, Nev.:
  • 2003 National Championships, Milwaukee, Wis.: 1st-AA (Jr. Div)
  • 2003 Men's Junior Olympic National Championships, Savannah, Ga.: 2nd-HB; 3rd-AA; 4th-SR, PB
  • 2003 Winter Cup Challenge, Las Vegas, Nev.: Individual Event Finalist
  • 2002 U.S. Championships, Cleveland, Ohio: 1st-SR, VT; 2nd-AA, FX; 5th-HB(T)
  • 2002 U.S. Men's Qualifier, Colorado Springs, Colo.:
  • 2002 Men's Junior Olympic National Championships, San Diego, Calif.: 1st-AA; 2nd-FX, SR, VT, PB; 3rd-HB
  • 2000 Men's Junior Olympic National Championships, Austin, Texas: 2nd-AA; 3rd-SR, VT
  • 1999 Men's Junior Olympic National Championships, Houston, Texas
  • 1998 Circle of Stars, Indianapolis, Indiana: 1st FX, PH, SR, VT, PB, HB, AA

International competition results

  • 2011 World Championships, Tokyo, Japan: 3rd -Team; 7th-SR
  • 2011 AT&T American Cup, Jacksonville, FL: 1st-AA
  • 2010 World Championships, Rotterdam, Netherlands: 4th-Team; 3rd-AA
  • 2009 World Championships, London, England
  • 2008 Beijing Olympic Games: 3rd-Team; 2nd-HB
  • 2008 Tyson American Cup, New York, N.Y.: 5th-AA
  • 2007 World Championships, Stuttgart, Germany: 4th-Team, AA
  • 2007 USA vs. UKR vs. RUS, Kiev, Ukraine: 1st-AA; 3rd-Team
  • 2007 Tyson American Cup, Jacksonville, Fla.: 1st-AA
  • 2006 World Championships, Aarhus, Denmark: Team
  • 2006 France/Switzerland/USA Meet, Paris, France: 1st-Team; 2nd-AA
  • 2006 Tyson American Cup, Philadelphia, Pa.: 1st-AA
  • 2005 Pan American Championships, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: 1st-Team
  • 2005 World Cup, Paris, France:
  • 2003 Junior International Invitational, Yokohama, Japan: 2nd-AA; 3rd-HB
  • 2003 Pan American Games, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: 3rd-Team; 4th-AA(T)

2008 Tour of Gymnastics Superstars

Jonathan performed alongside his 2008 Beijing Olympic teammates at The 2008 Tour of Gymnastics Superstars. The tour began on September 7, 2008 and concluded on November 16. The dance sets had a mix of hip hop and contemporary dance with gymnastic elements.

American Ninja Warrior

Horton has competed on two seasons of American Ninja Warrior--Season 6 (2014) and Season 7 (2015). In Season 6, he failed on the 5th obstacle, the Ring Toss, in the Dallas Qualifying course. In Season 7, despite being a walk-on, on the Houston Qualifying course, he became "the shortest man to ever make it to the top of the warped wall", at 5'1". He finished in 13th place, with a time of 3:30.32.


  1. Retrieved August 20, 2008
  2. Retrieved August 20, 2008
  3. Sooner Sports Profile
  4. USA Gymnastics Team Olympic Profile, September 17, 2008
  6. Macur, Juliet (June 22, 2008). "Paul Hamm Among Two to Win Olympic Berths". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Lloyd, Janice (August 12, 2008). "No Hamms, No Problem; American men take Bronze". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-08-12.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. October 8, 2011 usagymnasticsorg Jonathan Horton – After Prelims – 2011 World Championships
  9. Universal Sports December 8, 2011: Gymnast Jonathan Horton looks at foot injury as opportunity
  10. Gymnastike October 22, 2011: Jonathan Horton Foot Injury Update
  11. Macur, Juliet. "Harboring High Hopes, U.S. Men's Team Adds 3 Gymnasts for Olympics". The New York Times. Retrieved July 21, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. – Meet Members of the U.S. National Team

External links

Video interviews