RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, July 15, 2007 – Guillermo Alvarez of Denver, Colo., won the bronze medal in the men’s all-around finals at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, finishing behind gold-medalist Jose Fuentes of Venezuela and silver-medalist Jorge Giraldo of Colombia. Alvarez waited until the last event, but his 15.300 for the floor exercise was enough to move him from eighth to third place and give him his first individual medal at an international multi-sport event.
"This is my first individual medal at an event like this," said Alvarez, who already has a team bronze to his credit. "I knew I could score a little bit higher on the floor exercise than my other events. Even though my name wasn’t up on the scoreboard the whole time, I knew I could maybe get up there in the rankings. I’ve very excited about this."
"What a great opportunity to go out and show the Pan American world where Guillermo is in his gymnastics career, and I think it is just the first step of many," said Mike Burns, who is the team’s head coach and Alvarez’s personal coach. "I am excited for him and for the United States. It is a great thing."
Fuentes won the all-around gold medal with a total of 90.450, followed by Giraldo at 89.450 and Alvarez at 87.900. David Durante of Garwood, N.J., finished in fifth place with 87.750.
Vault and floor were Alvarez’s two best events. His event scores in the all-around were: 14.350, pommel horse; 14.550, still rings; 15.500, vault; 14.450, parallel bars; 13.750, high bar; and 15.300, floor exercise.
Durante, who was tied for fourth going into the final rotation, scored a 14.600 on floor, his final event. Early in the competition, Durante was not feeling well, but with additional fluids and energy bars was able to come back. His scores were: 13.650, pommel horse; 14.850, still rings; 15.600, vault; 14.900, parallel bars; 14.150, high bar; and 14.600, floor exercise.
"Dave just fought through it," said Burns. "The fact that he was able to come back and move up to fifth place is a tribute to his ability to fight and stay focused and be the professional athlete he is."
Shawn Johnson of West Des Moines, Iowa, Rebecca Bross of Plano, Texas, and Ivana Hong of Blue Springs, Mo., will compete in the women’s all-around finals on July 16. Nine U.S. gymnasts also qualified for the individual event finals on July 17: Shawn Johnson of West Des Moines, Iowa, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise; Nastia Liukin of Parker, Texas, uneven bars and balance beam; Rebecca Bross of Plano, Texas, floor exercise; Amber Trani of Richlandtown, Pa., vault; Justin Spring of Burke, Va., floor exercise, parallel bars and horizontal bar; Alvarez, floor exercise and parallel bars; Sean Golden of Camden, N.J., and Durante, still rings; and Todd Thornton of Houston, horizontal bar.
The women who scored in the top eight but were ineligible to advance due to the maximum two-athlete-per-country rule were: Bross, uneven bars and balance beam; Ivana Hong of Blue Springs, Mo., uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise; Samantha Peszek of Indianapolis, Ind., balance beam; and Trani, floor exercise. Joey Hagerty of Rio Rancho, N.M., is the first alternate for the pommel horse.
2007 Pan American Games
Men’s all-around finals
July 15, 2007
1. Jose Fuentes, Venezuela, 90.450
2. Jorge Giraldo, Colombia, 89.450
3. Guillermo Alvarez, Denver, Colo., 87.900
4. Luis Vargas, Puerto Rico, 87.800
5. David Durante, Garwood, N.J., 87.750
6. Gerardo Medina, Cuba, 87.350
7. Luis Rivera, Puerto Rico, 86.550
8. Luis Anjos, Brazil, 86.350