He walked into his first gym in 1990, and he hasnít looked back since. He never imagined at such a young age that he was going to be winning such prestigious titles such as a Junior-National Champion, an NCAA Champion or to have won the Nissen-Emery Award, given to the best senior gymnast each year. Jon, who is among 6 other men who made the 2008 U.S. Menís Gymnastics Olympic Team, and was the first of two gymnasts named to the Olympic Team, along with Paul Hamm.
Jon was born on December 31, 1985 in Houston, Texas. He is the son of Al, and Margo Horton and has one older sister, Margo, who is a dance instructor. Jon competed for Cypress Academy in Houston, Texas until 2004 where we when off to the University of Oklahoma, where he became a sooner! He graduated in 2008, and hopes to someday use his degree and open up his own gym!
Prior to coming to OU, jon competed for Cypress Academy of Gymnastics, where he was coached by Colby Vancleave, Tom Meadows, and Mike Dutka. He was the 2002 Junior National Champion, finished 4th in the all-around at the 2003 Pan-American games, where the U.S. team took home 3rd. Has been a part of the U.S. Junior National Team and Menís Senior National Team and competed in the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials, where he finished 13th.
In the fall of 2004, Jon was a freshmen at OU, where he took home over 10 event titles in the 2004-2005 season and two all-around titles. He was the MPSF All-Around Champion as only a freshmen, and won Still-Rings at the same competition. His team finished #1 in the nation at the 2005 NCAA Championships, while he finished 4th on floor, 3rd on high bar and took home the bronze medal by finishing 3rd in the All-Around. By finishing 8th at the 2005 Winter Cup, he was selection for the US National Team. Not such a bad start as a freshmen!
During his sophomore season at OU in 2005-2006, Jon took home over 13 event titles and an astonishing 6 All-Around titles! He won the all-around title in the season-opening Rocky Mountain Open and was again named to the US Senior Menís National Team after finishing 2nd in the all-around at Winter Cup. He was named both Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Gymnast of the week and College Gymnastics Association National Gymnast of the Week. He was the 2006 Tyson American-Cup All-Around Champion and finished 1st on the Still Rings at the same event. Was named MPSF Gymnast of the week multiple times during his sophomore season. During the 2006 NCAA Championships, he was the All-Around Champion and collected All-American honors and his team took home their 6th National Championship. At the 2006 Visa Championships he finished 2nd All-Around, won floor and placed 4th on rings and tied for 3rd on high bar. This qualified Jonathan to his first World Team!
In his 3rd season as a sooner, Jonathan set records at OU. He broke Bart Connerís records for career NCAA titles (5) and career All-America honors (15) and he tied his own school record for all-America honors in a single season (5). Horton, won the All-Around title around at the MPSF Championship, and claimed his second straight Tyson American Cup title, and was the first athlete since Blaine Wilson to win back-to-back American Cup titles. Was named MPSF gymnast of the week multiple times, and had to miss the Rocky Mountain Open because he was training in Japan with the senior national team. He was the 2007 floor and high bar champion and finished 2nd in the all-around. He qualified to another World team, where the US took home 4th.
His senior year, was one for the records. He won MPSF All-Around and Rings titles and was 1 of 5 finalists for the 78th AAU James E. Sullivan Award presented to the nationís top amateur athlete. Was again named MPSF gymnast of the week countless times in his final season as a sooner. Set career highs throughout the whole season, and was College Gymnastics Association National Gymnast of the Week. But, the best was yet to come. Was the 6th OU gymnast to be named 2008 Nissen-Emery Award Winner. OU took home its 8th national title and its 5th in just 7 years. Jonathan finished 2nd all-around and first on still-rings. He finished 5th All-Around at the Tyson American-Cup, finished 3rd on still rings at the Winter Cup. Took home the silver medal at the 2008 Visa Championships in his home state of Texas and finished 3rd on floor, 5th on vault and 6th on parallel bars. He finished 1st in the All-around at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team trials, and was one of two gymnasts named to the 08í Olympic team
on the second day of competition. Picked up a Bronze Team Medal and a Silver Individual Medal on High-Bar.
Outside of the gym, Jon is like any regular college student. His favorite band is Linkin Park, and 311 and enjoys hanging out with his friends and watches tv shows like Family Guy, South park and Deal or no Deal and enjoys playing video games. His favorite movies include Gladiator, Braveheart, Man On Fire, and saving Private Ryan. He lives with his OU teammates Jacob Messina and Joseph Weaver. His favorite event is high bar, and his least favorite is rings. He looks up to gymnast like Blaine Wilson and 2008 Olympic Teammates Paul and Morgan Hamm. He also hopes to one day, open up his own gym.