2008 silver medalist Horton still hungry for first Olympic gold medal

By Kevin Fixler,

American gymnast Jonathan Horton has found a way to satisfy his golden appetite.

While preparing for the 2012 London Games, the most experienced member of the American men’s gymnastics squad — at just 26 years old — has been incorporating a special ingredient into his daily routine. For the last year and a half, the 2008 individual Olympic silver medalist has knocked back a bottle of honey — an item commonly used in gymnastics to increase the stickiness of the parallel bars — during practice whenever he feels the need for a sudden energy boost.

“Really low blood sugar runs in my family,” Horton explained over the phone during a recent morning drive to his Houston training gym. “I started trying to figure out ways to get rid of the shakes. Then one day I was doing parallel bars and I was like, ‘Hey, we’ve got all this honey here, why don’t I just eat some of that and see if it helps?’ A couple minutes later, I felt amazing again, and so ever since then, throughout my workout, I’ll just take little bits of honey and it makes me feel really good.”

But the sweet nectar hasn’t decreased his hunger for a first Olympic gold medal. The only remaining member from the 2008 bronze-winning Olympic team calls himself fully recovered from injuries (a torn ligament and two broken bones in his left foot) that he competed through in 2011 and ready to guide the U.S. to another podium finish.

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