Jake Dalton is a man of many ideas. There's Jake the businessman. Jake the military man. Jake the police officer. But right now, the most important to the 21-year-old Sooner is Jake the gymnast — or better yet Jake the Olympian.
Jake Dalton competed for the U.S. last summer for the first time during London's Olympic Games. He and his teammates got all the tastes of training to be an Olympian and watching others win medals, but they finished fifth.
Since he went on Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions after the Olympics and accepted money for it, he can no longer be an NCAA athlete or gymnast for Oklahoma's top-ranked team. However, he does still train with his former teammates.
The Oklahoman caught up with the former Sooner star to talk about his love of precision, his clothing line and the five-ring symbol tattooed on his back.
It's not necessarily just the falling. It's the consistency. I don't like messing up. I think that's just a part of my personality. I don't like to mess up or do anything wrong. When I'm in gymnastics, I like to see my hit percent as high as possible. I don't like going into a meet where if I fall and I can look at ‘OK, I didn't prepare to do what I needed to have done.'
You make mistakes and then you learn from those.
The only time you have to make split decisions like that is when you mess up. It's definitely a necessity to make split-second decisions when you're doing gymnastics because things don't always go perfect.
It's pretty nerve-wracking, actually, but when you're in the routine you don't really think about it that much because you have your set routine that you're doing.
I went for a pass (during his Olympic floor routine) and it was supposed to have an extra half twist in there and I was supposed to land facing forward. I undercut the first flip and my knees kind of buckled so I had to bail out of a half twist and I landed that way. I wasn't necessarily worried about going out as much as I was of landing on my butt or my face. That was one of those split-second decisions where I knew I was going to be short and I landed a little bit low but I happened to be very close to the out-of-the-bounds line as well. I stayed on my feet though so I was just happy about that.