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PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT

American Olympians in Their Own Words; Interview With Coach Krzyzewski

Aired July 4, 2012 - 21:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: They are the stars who will shine bright in London. And on America's birthday we salute our new heroes, the men and women preparing for battle to bring home the gold.

Track sensation Allyson Felix on life in the fast lane.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ALLYSON FELIX, OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALIST: I've got to win. You know that's what it's all about. It's the thing that I really want.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Also a new contender. Gymnast John Orozco.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOHN OROZCO, GYMNAST: I'm chasing my dreams right now. And I'm doing what I love to do.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: Plus he makes a dream team a reality. Coach K on hoops, his country and why he wants players with attitude.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I want them to bring their egos. The more powerful the egos you have, the more powerful a team that you can have.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: The games, the glory, the pride of America. This is a PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT Fourth of July special.

Good evening. And happy Fourth of July. What better way to celebrate America's independence than by honoring the country's Olympic athletes. The pride of America. In just a few weeks they will be on the world stage in London competing for gold with billions watching.

In the next hour, we'll hear their stories in their own words. Let's say it's revealing, moving, surprising and inspiring. We begin tonight with Allyson Felix, one fastest women in the world. As I found out a superstar determined to win. She's making headlines with the unexpected way that she made for women's 100-meter team.

Allyson and Jenoba Tarmoh finished in a dead heat at the Olympic trial in Eugene, Oregon, and set of a week of controversy and eventually a planned winter-take-all runoff. That plan feel apart when Jenoba pulled out hours before the race. Consider the shock to Allyson.

But when we sat before all that signature event, the 200 meters, was very much at the top of her mind.

Allyson, how are you feeling? Are you primed and ready for the kill?

FELIX: I am feeling good. I am so excited. I just can't wait.

MORGAN: Is it like being like a racehorse? Is everything just so finely tuned? All geared up to these explosive few moments? Is that what it feels like?

FELIX: It is. You know, it's very technical. You do all this training for just 21 seconds. It's very quick.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Now I want to take you back to probably the worst moment of your life. 2008, the Beijing Olympics, the 200 meters, up against your old enemy, Jamaica's Veronica Campbell. You lose by -- I don't want to say it to you because it's going to hurt you too much. You ran 21.93, let me turn to my file. She ran 21.74.

FELIX: Yes.

MORGAN: It's 0.17 of a second.

FELIX: Yes.

MORGAN: How many times have you relived that 0.17 of a second?

FELIX: I feel like every day since then. You know I just -- I'm always thinking about it, at practice, just all the time. I don't want to get that thought out of my head because it does motivate me. But it's tough.

MORGAN: Because this is the reality for any athlete like you that, you've won a gold in the relay. You've won all the world titles, you've won everything else. You've won everything else. But in the end, if the 200 meters is your thing, and you've got this incredible rival who keeps beating you when it really matters. This is it, isn't it? London Olympics, you're at the peak of your powers. This is it. You've got to win this.

FELIX: I've got to win. You know that's what it's all about. Like you said, I've done all this other stuff. But this is the one missing thing and it's the thing that I really want. So I need everything to come together at the right time.

MORGAN: Tell me about the drive and the hunger that it takes to be a real Olympic champion.

FELIX: Well, it's something that I feel like I was born with. You know, I'm just competitive. It doesn't matter what it is. I want to win. And so that something that carries over to the track. And I just -- I'm determined. And so having these silver medals, every day I'm thinking about it and it drives me and I want that gold.

MORGAN: What are the sacrifices? In the build-up they say of the London Olympics. What are you not allowed to do?

FELIX: Well, you know, you have to cut down on all your social activities. And even family things like that, you know. Everything is just so structured. You have to -- just you're training, and you're trying to eat right, and getting your rest. That's really important and --

MORGAN: (INAUDIBLE). No doughnuts.

FELIX: Well, I have a problem with those things.

(LAUGHTER)

FELIX: So I like to splurge every now and then.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Are you allowed even in your height of training, are you allowed to have binge eating days?

FELIX: Yes, you are. I mean we're regular people, too. And for me, I have to reward myself. So I love powdered sugar doughnuts and I love ice cream. And so I splurge every now and then.

MORGAN: Because you're saying (INAUDIBLE) a thing about chicken nuggets, which (INAUDIBLE) surprised because I eat chicken nuggets but I can't run like you.

FELIX: We all have something. Mine is ice cream. I love Ben and Jerry's oatmeal cookie chunk, and often I'm going back to it.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: And is it true there's like this group wide sex ban on the entire American team before the Olympics?

FELIX: I didn't -- I didn't know about that.

MORGAN: Has it filtered down to you?

FELIX: Is it what?

MORGAN: Literally, none of you are allowed to do anything like that.

FELIX: Well, the village is a happening place. So I don't know.

(LAUGHTER)

FELIX: If anyone over there heard about that.

MORGAN: So it's completely rubbish.

FELIX: I've never heard about it but I'm very focused so.

MORGAN: Do nothing like that for you.

FELIX: Nothing like that.

MORGAN: You are a God-fearing young lady.

FELIX: I am.

MORGAN: You believe that the power of prayer drives you to great heights. What will you be -- when you kneel down to go for that gold, which is going to be a culmination probably of your entire sprinting career this moment, because I know it means more to you than anything else. I've read interviews with you.

FELIX: Yes.

MORGAN: When you're kneeling down, what are you going to be saying? Who are you praying to? What are you thinking of?

FELIX: Well, I'm praying for God. And of course, I want to win. So -- but it's more about, just, you know, I want top represent him well. I want to run for his glory. So, you know, if that means me not winning, then I want to be able to handle that and handle it with grace. So it's all of those things.

MORGAN: You feel nervous? Do you feel excited in that moment when get down? How are you going to be feeling?

FELIX: Mixed emotions. You know --

MORGAN: I'll give you wet because it will be raining in London.

FELIX: It always is.

(LAUGHTER)

FELIX: Yes, I mean, I'll be nervous. Of course, I'm always nervous. And it will be weird if I wasn't. But excited. You know, I waited now eight years for another chance at a gold medal. So I'm twice silver. And it's tough. It's tough waiting. So I'm just -- I can't wait for that moment again.

MORGAN: Because when you're on the podium, and you won the gold for the relay, are you still thinking this is great, but it's not the same? FELIX: It's not the same. You have those feelings. You know, and you feel kind of bad about it because you have this gold medal around your neck and you're so grateful, you know, but you want an individual medal. You want to do it by yourself and know that you can.

MORGAN: Who's been the greatest inspiration to you? Personally and professionally?

FELIX: Well, personally, my family. You know, they made sacrifices, the whole deal, you know, so that I could have success. The hard-working people. And just -- you know, I just love them. They were there -- they'll love me just the same if I don't win.

Professionally, Jackie Joyner-Kersey. She's phenomenal. You know, a phenomenal athlete, but just a great person.

MORGAN: Phenomenal nails.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Isn't she the one with the phenomenal nails?

FELIX: She has nails in her family. Her sister-in-law.

(CROSSTALK)

FELIX: Not her. She wasn't but Gail did. Her whole little crew. They were fashionable.

MORGAN: I remember them having big nails.

FELIX: They were into the nails and the fashion of it all. The hair, they did the whole deal.

MORGAN: So you're very glamorous. Aren't you?

FELIX: Thank you.

MORGAN: I mean. Not all sprinters scrub up like you. Do they? So you were like -- I mean I would imagine for all the sponsors and all the rest of it, they're desperate for you to win. You could be the golden girl of American Olympics.

FELIX: We all are.

(LAUGHTER)

FELIX: We are. I'm just in it as they are. So yes.

MORGAN: You think about that? You think about the commercial benefit to winning the gold?

FELIX: Well, definitely. You know, it's my career and I want to take advantage of as much as I can. You know. It's just about everything coming together at the right time. So I hope that it will. MORGAN: Got a man in your life?

FELIX: I do, I have a man.

MORGAN: Is he for the long-term or is he as sprinter?

(LAUGHTER)

FELIX: I hope he's for the long term. He understands what I do and he's pretty -- he's pretty cool about it.

MORGAN: What does he do?

FELIX: He's done a little running in his time but he's kind of transitioning out of it and just getting ready for the next phase of his life.

MORGAN: Wedding bells?

FELIX: My mind doesn't function so after the --

MORGAN: Are you allowed to even be thinking about this?

FELIX: I can't even -- I don't know. After the 200 final, we'll talk about it.

MORGAN: Are you more or less likely to marry him if you win gold?

FELIX: Well, I'm going to be in such a good mood.

(LAUGHTER)

FELIX: That's when he should ask me.

MORGAN: I would choose the moment literally 10 seconds after you've won.

FELIX: That would be a good bet.

MORGAN: You would do anything, wouldn't you?

FELIX: Probably would.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Let's take a break. I want to come back and talk to you about drugs in sport. Because I know you've got strong feelings about this.

FELIX: Yes.

MORGAN: And I recently interviewed Marion Jones. I'm interested to see what think about that.

FELIX: Sounds good. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MARION JONES, FORMER ATHLETE: And so it is with a great amount of shame that I stand before you and tell you that I have betrayed your trust. I want you to know that I have been dishonest. And you have the right to be angry with me.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

MORGAN: That's Marion Jones after she stripped of her gold medals in 2007. We're back now with Olympic champion, Allyson Felix.

What do you think when you see somebody who was so brilliant like Marion Jones at your discipline and then just get exposed as a cheat and sees her world collapse? When you think of her story what do you think of it?

FELIX: It's disappointing, especially for me because when I got into traffic and field, she was everywhere. I was a high school student when she was in the 2000 games. And she was my idol. So to see that video, it just brings back emotions. You know, it was devastating for me. I just -- I just adored her.

MORGAN: Do you have any sympathy for her?

FELIX: It's very hard for me to have sympathy, I don't know. Just because I know what it takes, you know, the training and the dedication. And she was just so talented, she didn't need it.

MORGAN: Well, that was the point I made to her. Because when I interviewed her recently, I said, you know, you would have won anyway. You were so much better than the rest of the people in the field.

FELIX: Exactly.

MORGAN: You didn't need to do it. She had no real answer. She knew. I got the feeling she knew she had made a catastrophic mistake for no reason.

FELIX: I'm sure.

MORGAN: Which is 10 times worse.

FELIX: Yes, it's hard. I mean she's always been so talented. And maybe she wouldn't have gotten all of those medals, but she would have gotten some of them.

MORGAN: How prevalent are drugs today in sprinting? Because there was a period when you just assumed that everybody was on it.

FELIX: Yes. Well, hopefully it's not as bad as it has been in the past, but to be honest, it's still around, you know, and --

MORGAN: Do you have suspicions about some of your rivals? FELIX: Well, of course. Yes. I think that that's the tough thing about track and field is when you watch it, there's some things that are very obvious.

MORGAN: Like what?

FELIX: Like your body changing. Running times that are -- having huge drops sometimes. Those are things that aren't natural. And when there's a progression like that, it's -- it raises some suspicion. I think it's, you know, it's only natural.

MORGAN: When you line up for the 200-meter final, how many people in that race could be cheats?

FELIX: Wow, that's a tough question. I don't --

MORGAN: The worst of your suspicions.

FELIX: I think there could be a few.

MORGAN: How does that make you feel?

FELIX: It's hard. You know it's frustrating. Especially --

MORGAN: What if one of these cheats runs through and beats you?

FELIX: Yes, that would be -- I don't know how I would handle that, you know? But the hard part is it is suspicion. And you know I would hate to accuse someone who's, you know, working just as hard as me. So that's why it's a very fine balance. You can be frustrated but in the end you have to have peace with yourself and you have to be doing it for yourself.

MORGAN: Have you ever been tempted? I mean there must be -- you must be awashed with people trying to force illegal drugs on athletes.

FELIX: You know what, I haven't. I think it's part of my upbringing, it's part of the reason. And also even that Marion Jones story. I idolized her. I know how it felt when it came out that, you know, she was cheating. I would never want to put someone in that situation, ever. And then I also don't let track define me. You know? I love this sport but I'm not willing to risk my life, I'm not willing to risk anything else, you know, just to win.

MORGAN: Good for you.

FELIX: Thank you.

MORGAN: Now let's turn to happier things, your dog. Tell me about your dog.

FELIX: I have a dog, her name is Chloe. And she's a bundle of energy and she's just so much fun. I love her.

MORGAN: And you and Chloe communicate by Skype.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: How does that work with a dog?

FELIX: She's very smart, but I mean -- I will tell you.

(LAUGHTER)

FELIX: When I travel, you know, she stays with my mom. And my mom puts her up on the camera and so we just have a good time.

MORGAN: Good luck in the Olympics.

FELIX: Thank you.

MORGAN: It's going to be a huge moment for you, isn't it?

FELIX: It is, yes.

MORGAN: How do you feel about being an American flying the flag for America at such a prestigious event?

FELIX: So proud. It's an honor. You know? It's such an honor and when I put on that jersey, there's nothing like it. And I just want to make everyone back at home proud. And hopefully I can do that.

MORGAN: Do you feel, collectively, the American athletes, it's a good chance to put America right back on the top of the map again? America has had a bit of a rough ride recently.

FELIX: Yes.

MORGAN: Maybe it's time to stand up, beat your chest and show the Chinese who's real boss?

FELIX: Definitely. I mean it's an opportunity. And we're so proud and we're excited and I think that we're all so ready, ready for this moment.

MORGAN: If you win, what's the plan after that once you've achieved your great aim?

FELIX: Oh, my gosh, I have no plan. I just want to win. No, but I have a degree in elementary education. I would love to get in the classroom. Just be around kids and do something with hem. That's something I'm really passionate about as well.

MORGAN: You're involved with this project called Project Believe. Tell me about that.

FELIX: Well, it's a project where you submit yourself for more testing, more blood work. Just to show that you're a clean athlete. And for me that's what it's about. You know, if I can step up and say, I'm going to go beyond what's required, that's something that's important to me.

MORGAN: Should everyone do that? Is that the way to really tackle this?

FELIX: I think it's tough because situations like Marion, you know, she never failed a drug test. But I think it's the step in the right direction because you are saying that you'd go above and beyond. And I think right now, where we're at, that's a positive thing.

MORGAN: See, if I was running, I'd just test every athlete every day. It would be part of their daily routine, like getting up, having their oatmeal, having a bit of fruit, take their little test.

FELIX: A little test.

MORGAN: That would -- that would root it out, wouldn't it?

FELIX: Well, you'd have to be a very rich man.

(LAUGHTER)

FELIX: But I think you've got that covered.

MORGAN: Look. Best of luck with it.

FELIX: Thank you.

MORGAN: We're willing you for victory. Obviously as a Brit, I'm willing you to victory because there's no Brit that can beat you.

FELIX: I'm safe.

MORGAN: So that is my criteria. One thing that strikes me about you, it's very interesting. I interview lots of people on the show, very few have exuded the confidence that you have.

FELIX: Thank you. I think that --

MORGAN: Are all athletes like that? I mean do you have to have that streak of self-confidence?

FELIX: I think it's part of it. You know, you have to be able to know that you can go toe-to-toe with the person next to you. And you also do all this training. So you better be confident.

MORGAN: Is there a message there for Americans who have been going through a rough time? I mean a lot of this comes from self- discipline, from hard work, from clean living. You know, there is -- there is an argument to say if more people behave like athletes in their lives, America would be in a pretty good position.

FELIX: I think that's a good point. You know, it's a journey, there's ups and downs. And I think my career is really testimony to that. You know it's not always going to be great. You're going to have slumps. But if you continue on what you've always been doing and working hard, hopefully things will come around.

MORGAN: I've got two hands here. One has a check for $10 million and one has the Olympic gold medal for the 200 meters. You can have at the end of the race. But you can't have both.

FELIX: I can't -- OK.

MORGAN: Which one are you going to take?

FELIX: I'm taking the gold.

MORGAN: Allyson, good answer. Best of luck.

FELIX: Thank you.

MORGAN: Allyson Felix. See you in London. Next up, a young man from the Bronx who was born to be an Olympian. John Orozco tells his incredible story next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: We're celebrating the Fourth of July tonight with the pride of America. This comes from Olympic athletes going for gold in London. John Orozco's dream came true, the stand-out performance at the Olympic trials. But his road to London began with a tough childhood and a family struggling to make ends meet in the Bronx. He's an extraordinary young man.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MORGAN: John, you've been described as a 5'4" power ball.

OROZCO: Wow.

(LAUGHTER)

OROZCO: That's nice.

MORGAN: Is that true?

OROZCO: I guess, yes.

MORGAN: Is that how you see yourself?

OROZCO: I see myself as a normal 19-year-old kid.

MORGAN: Who just happens to be a gold medal contending power ball?

OROZCO: Yes, I guess.

MORGAN: When you say normal, this is what one of your coaches at the World Cup gymnastics, Jason Hebert, said about you. "I've never seen any athlete with so much raw talent. John is like the Michael Jordan and LeBron James of gymnastics, he's that good."

OROZCO: I never thought anyone would compare me to those two great, you know, athletes in the sport that they represent. You know, I'm just -- I'm just trying to follow my dream and do what I love to do. MORGAN: Let's go back to the Bronx, this is where you're from in New York. Not the best place in the world to grow up. Everyone would agree with that. And yet it's produced many outstanding people. Tell me about your early life in the Bronx. What was it like?

OROZCO: Growing up in the Bronx, especially as a gymnast, not easy.

(LAUGHTER)

OROZCO: I got teased a lot as a kid. You know, a lot of backhanded jokes, a lot of negativity that's thrown at me when I was a kid. And --

MORGAN: What would be being a gymnast mean in the Bronx? I mean what would they tease you about? What were they saying to you?

OROZCO: They would say things like, well, a gymnast? What are you gay? Or, that's nice, you go -- going around flipping like a cheerleader? Like what is that going to do?

MORGAN: It wasn't masculine enough for them?

OROZCO: No. Definitely not the masculine thing to be into.

MORGAN: And yet the irony of what you do is it's one of the toughest disciplines --

OROZCO: Explosive.

MORGAN: -- in terms of physical strength in world sport.

OROZCO: It is one of the toughest sports in the world. Yes. And it's just that they didn't understand what it took to be a gymnast, to be a world-class gymnast. They didn't understand. And I knew that. That's why I wouldn't get mad. I would just simply say OK, I can throw -- I can throw a baseball, I can shoot a basketball, kick a soccer ball.

Let's see your back handspring. And then their eyes would be like what? And I said, now you understand because -- it's just that they can't relate because it's not something that everyone can do -- can just go in the gym and do double flip, double twist and stick.

MORGAN: I mean, I watch it and I can't imagine why anybody would want to do it.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: The strength, the danger, all of it. I'm like, you guys are crazy.

OROZCO: It is a little odd.

MORGAN: Why gymnastics? Why -- was there something you saw on television? Was there somebody out there that you idolized? Why gymnastics?

OROZCO: I love -- I took gymnastics because it's one of the most challenging sports in the world and that's what I love about it. It's such a great challenge. And I remember watching the 2000 Olympic Games and seeing the gymnastics team compete, and remembering, I want to do that one day. You know?

I remember sitting with my family and thinking, wow, that's -- this is the greatest thing I've ever seen, you know? And then my dad got me into it when I was 8 years old. He works for the Department of Sanitation. So he came in -- he was on the job one day in the city, he picked up a flyer for free gymnastics tryouts in the nearby gymnasium in the city. So he brought it home. And I was already in tae kwon do competing and stuff. And -- so he brought it home, we discussed it with my mother over dinner. And the next day he brought me into the gym.

And I remember before I even got into is the gym, I can hear the noises, like the bar squeaking and the people landing on their feet on the maps and just loud slamming noises. And I got so excited walking in. And --

MORGAN: You just knew.

OROZCO: I just knew. I just felt it. I knew it was -- it was happening, and my dad spoke to the owner. And I was 8 years old. And the gym class was supposed to be for 9-year-olds and up. And he said, I'm sorry, we can't have your son try out. He's not old enough. And he said come on, please. He loves -- he loves doing flips everywhere I go, he's trying to do handstands. And he says, you just give me a chance. So he gave me that chance and I'm so grateful that he did because that's the moment I knew I loved this sport. And --

MORGAN: So your parents were very dedicated to you because your mom used to drive you often for a three-hour from the Bronx, one of the roughest parts of New York, to Westchester, the posh end.

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Which is two completely different worlds.

OROZCO: Yes, it is.

MORGAN: How did feel, you were in the transit -- sometimes, like I say, for three hours? I mean you're going from one place to somewhere completely different.

OROZCO: Yes. I'm glad I got to train in Westchester.

(LAUGHTER)

OROZCO: And going back to the Bronx, Bronx is just -- it's my home, it's where I live. I feel comfortable. And --

MORGAN: What are the good things about the Bronx? I mean it gets a bad rap. OROZCO: The things --

MORGAN: Yes, what --

OROZCO: Yes, it does get a bad rap. And so --

MORGAN: What are the good parts of you that you think come from being a Bronx guy?

OROZCO: I mean, well, look at my parents. They raised me to be the man that I am now. And -- I mean with people like in the Bronx, it can't be that bad, right?

(LAUGHTER)

MORGAN: Yes.

OROZCO: And it's not so bad. My neighborhood is by the Bronx River by the water. I can see Manhattan across the street -- across the river actually. And I mean it's only as bad as you make it out to be. And going from there to Westchester is a lot different. People are different, but I saw them all as people. It's all the same to me. You know, I treat everyone with respect, I treat everyone the same.

MORGAN: Did you get into fights as a kid in the Bronx?

OROZCO: I --

MORGAN: Did everybody have to fight if you're a young man growing up in the Bronx?

OROZCO: No, no, no. It's not like a boxing match every time you walk out of your house.

(LAUGHTER)

OROZCO: But we did -- it was a sad day. We were actually coming from my brother's confirmation at church on Sunday and my brother, one of my older brothers, his name is Emanuel. And we got into a little spiff going home and it just spiraled out of control so quickly. I don't even really remember it. But we were going home one day and that day and we -- it started out as an argument and then it got into a physical altercation and all of a sudden, not even exaggerating, there were 30 guys, 20 guys, that showed up and started attacking all of us.

And there were only four of us. And I was 10 years old at the time. And my brother was 12, 20 and 27. And I mean, 30 versus four. And the cops were called by pedestrians. They had saw sightings of a gun throughout the whole rumble, knives --

MORGAN: Knives as well?

OROZCO: Yes. My brother -- my brother was attacked pretty badly and he had to spend a few days in the hospital.

MORGAN: Was he stabbed?

OROZCO: No, thanks god. But it's --

MORGAN: What did it teach you, the incident?

OROZCO: That life is unpredictable and you can't let -- you can't hold on to that. I let it go in the past, and I just -- I don't think about it now. Because (INAUDIBLE) that we went through it. But it's not something that I keep with me because if I did it would destroy me.

MORGAN: You have got out of the Bronx now. You live elsewhere. You go back. Your family is still there. Your parents have both suffered from ill health and stuff. Do you see in the future a life for them out of the Bronx.

OROZCO: Absolutely. The whole reason that I got so serious about gymnastics was to make a better life for myself and make a better life for my family. That's what I set out to do since I made this commitment to myself to make the Olympic team and reach my goals and dreams. And one day I'm going to do it. It's a lot of pressure, but I'll take it on.

MORGAN: They tell a very moving story of when you got your first paycheck. You came back and you gave it all to your parents and said that's to help pay off the mortgage. They both found that a profoundly moving moment in their lives, and a kind of vindication of all the effort they made for you, that they produced this kid who would do that.

OROZCO: I -- just ever since I was little, the number one priority for me was helping out my family any way I can, because I knew we weren't doing good financially. And I remember I was -- I started bagging at the grocery store when I was 13 years old, and getting like just a little chump change, you know, and bringing it home and saying I got this money. It was like three bucks in total.

Then I actually started working when I was 14 at my gym, and I brought home that first paycheck and I said here mom, here's -- put this towards the mortgage and everything. Because I don't care what I was doing or what was happening around me. All I cared about was my family and making sure that everything was OK. That's the reason why I do gymnastics now, to make a better life for them.

And I want to make sure that no one in my family has to ever worry about things like that again. I don't want any financial worries. I don't want any kind of burdens to be restricting us in that way. And that's why -- that's what keeps me motivated in gymnastics.

MORGAN: John, just hold that thought and we'll come back in a moment, after the break.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MORGAN: Back now with pride of America. I'm talking to some of the country's finest Athletes who on their way to London to compete. Before the break, I talked to John Orozco, who is competing in men's gymnastics. Here's more of that interview.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MORGAN: What does it take to be as good as you are at what you do?

OROZCO: I would say it takes a lot of willpower and a lot of sacrifice and a lot of self-motivation. Because you're not going to walk in every day and feel like it's a great day and you want to get all this stuff done and feeling all jolly, jolly, you know?

MORGAN: What are you, 19?

OROZCO: Nineteen.

MORGAN: Most kids your age -- my -- I have an older son who's 19. He likes to going out clubbing in London, having fun, sinking a few beers, chatting up a few women. This is not a world that you're allowed to do, right?

OROZCO: It's not. But the way I see it, I'm chasing my dreams right now and I'm doing what I love to do. And there will be time for that after I achieve my goals and dreams. So for right, I'm focusing on what I need to do, so that in the future I can enjoy all those things.

MORGAN: If you perform at your absolute best, what can you achieve in London?

OROZCO: I think if I do my absolute best, I think I might have a chance at being on the medal stand, top three in all-around. That's my goal. And also as well as my individual goal, it's the same as the team goal. We want to get up there, the Americans top three at least on the podium stand.

MORGAN: If you win a gold, how is that going to make you feel, a boy from the Bronx winning an Olympic gold medal, standing on that podium, the American National Anthem playing?

OROZCO: That would be a dream come true. That would mean that everything I've suffered through has finally been worth it. I think that would be the moment that my life would change?

MORGAN: It would be an emotional moment for you, huh?

OROZCO: Definitely an emotional moment for me and my family.

MORGAN: And your parents.

OROZCO: And my family, yes. That would mean my life has changed and that would mean my family's life would change, right in just that moment. MORGAN: Now you're a good looking young man. I'm told that you're one of the more popular characters in the Olympic team with the ladies.

OROZCO: Really, I am?

MORGAN: That's what I'm hearing. How are you going to deal with the attention that comes your way when you compete in the Olympics and possibly win a gold medal? Are you ready for screaming women chasing you down the street?

OROZCO: Oh, yeah. My philosophy for women, I'm not going to go out there and try to find the love of my life. I think if it's meant to happen, it will happen. She'll find me or I'll find her. But I'm not looking for her, you know.

but the whole -- all the media and all the attention, I think it's going to be fun. You know? I can't let it stress me out.

MORGAN: And if you win the gold, can you imagine what those guys who teased you back in the Bronx are going to be thinking? Will pictures of their faces --

OROZCO: No, no, no.

MORGAN: -- shoot up in your face as you stand there?

OROZCO: No, never.

MORGAN: A tiny little bit of told you?

OROZCO: No.

MORGAN: Come on, it will be a little bit, won't it?

OROZCO: No, I don't think so. I'm not a very vengeful person.

MORGAN: I don't mean vengeful, but more like vindication?

OROZCO: Maybe a little bit. It will be just more about now you understand. Now you understand, you know. Not so much I told you so, you know. But I think -- I think people realize now. Everyone that's told me that I couldn't do what I was trying to do or try to tease me about what I loved and try to take what I loved and crushed my spirit with it, I think they all realize now, you know. This isn't -- this wasn't ever a joke. This was never something to be teased about.

MORGAN: Final question, what does being an American mean to you?

OROZCO: Being an American?

MORGAN: Yes.

OROZCO: It means that I get to enjoy life in the best country in the world, as I see it. And going -- on my way to the Olympics and being able to wear that USA on my back proudly and represent my whole country, not just myself, my whole country, my family, everyone is -- it's going to be a great honor. And I can't wait.

MORGAN: John, all the best.

OROZCO: Thank you.

MORGAN: See you in London.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MORGAN: Next, a legend in men's basketball. Coach K on leading the Dream Team in London and on the life lessons for everyone on and off the court.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

MORGAN: We're back with our pride of America special on the Olympians heading to London. All of them want to bring home the gold. And for the men's basketball team, the expectations are extremely high. Coach Mike Krzyzewski knows that pressure. He also knows how to get the best out of his players. Coach K is returning to the Olympics with his dream team and with lessons that go far beyond the games, as I found out when I sat down with him.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

MORGAN: Coach K, now I know how important you are, because everybody on my staff, when they heard we were doing Coach K, got excited. It's like, whoa, Coach K. Why are you such a big deal?

MIKE KRZYZEWSKI, COACH, TEAM USA: Well, you must have a lot of Polish people on your staff. So it means everything is going to go great here.

MORGAN: You have this incredible reputation based on one of the greatest sporting coaching careers that America's seen. In college basketball, a peerless career. What does it mean to you to have that reputation?

KRZYZEWSKI: Well, I've been lucky to be at place where their brand helped me right away. I graduated from West Point, coached there. It's got a pretty good brand. Then I get my next gig is Duke University, which has a global brand and a good one. And then I'm the coach of the U.S. National Team that has a really good brand. So I've been on teams that have made me look a lot better, let's put it that way.

MORGAN: You've won 903 college games. It's outrageous.

KRZYZEWSKI: It means I'm old and have good teams.

MORGAN: It means that, but it must also mean you hate losing so much that you just try and avoid it at all costs.

KRZYZEWSKI: That's a good point. I think I hate losing more than I enjoy winning.

MORGAN: Yes.

KRZYZEWSKI: But I think competitors in every sport, if you asked them, they would all agree that the -- the loss, the feeling of a loss, that depth, I don't know if you can ever reach it in height with a win. So you try to avoid that feeling as much as possible.

MORGAN: You have, in many ways, the easiest job of any coach in the Olympic setup and the hardest. We know it's the hardest because we know what happened in Athens with the debacle of the Dream Team coming third, which for America was like a seismic bombshell, because I'm -- I like basketball. It's my favorite American sport. I go and watch the Lakers and the Knicks.

To me, when you have a team running out that includes Lebron James and Kobe Bryant, it is almost impossible to imagine a scenario where you don't win Olympic gold. And yet we saw in Athens the doomsday can happen. Why do you think that happened in Athens? And what are you going to do to stop it from happening in London, when the whole world assumes you're going to win gold quite easily?

KRZYZEWSKI: Well, the very first thing is you don't go with assumptions. You go with reality. The reality is 20 percent of the NBA is international. The reality is we did lose in Athens. We did lose in Indianapolis in the world championships. We did lose in Japan. We've lost. It's not like we haven't lost.

We expect to win. We want to win, but we have to prepare like we expect to win, not like we assume we expect to win.

MORGAN: You have all these disparate great players. And you've got the greatest squad imaginable. Arguably right now one of the greatest squads in the history of basketball.

KRZYZEWSKI: In the history of the game, yes.

MORGAN: No question. I mean, Kobe, I would guess, and Lebron would be in the top five basketball players in history. So you're in a great position. I'm interested about how you deal with ego. When these guys are top dogs in their teams, absolutely peerless -- I've seen Lebron for the Heat. He's unbelievable. I've seen Kobe at the Lakers, the same there.

But they are number one. How do you deal with them coming together? How do you get it to gel and to work, where they have to share that status?

KRZYZEWSKI: Well, the very first thing is you're honest with them. You set standards of how you're going to live with one another. Like you look each other in the eye. You always tell each other the truth. I don't believe in the -- this expression leave your egos at the door. I want them to bring their egos in.

And just when we leave that room, we go out with a collective ego which says United States basketball. .

MORGAN: Tell me about America, what it means to you. You're the son of Polish immigrants to this country. Clearly it's been great for you and your family. Tell me about that.

KRZYZEWSKI: Well, I'm -- I still believe an American dream. I've lived an American dream. When my grandparents came from Krakov, my parents eventually immigrated to Chicago. All of a sudden, I'm a cadet at West Point getting ready to become an officer for the United States Army. And since then, have a chance to represent my country with basketball.

I mean, I love our country and I think sports is an integral part of the spirit of our country.

MORGAN: Is the American dream still as attainable as it was when you were young?

KRZYZEWSKI: You know, I don't think it is. I think there's -- I think we have to do more to help people in the low socioeconomic areas of our country. And today's immigrants have an opportunity to succeed in this culture. And if we don't do a good job of that, especially with education, the gap is going to keep growing.

And I see it primarily in education, because the educational opportunities afforded to those people are not as -- not nearly as good as the wealthy.

MORGAN: And the tragedy of that is there's so much untapped talent, not least of which in sport. I mean, a lot of these kids who are drifting into gangs and jail, whatever it may be, could be potentially fantastic sportsmen. But if they are driven out of an education system that doesn't nurture them, then how can we blame them?

KRZYZEWSKI: Intellect does not know race, color, nationality, gender. There are smart people -- like I think I'm fairly smart. I grew up in this little Polish community in Chicago. If my parents didn't have the stick-to-it-ness to make sure I got an education young, there's no way that this would happen.

And we have to do that with kids at younger ages, or else they take their intellect into other areas. And that's how we -- I think education -- solving educational problems helps solve some of our crime problems.

MORGAN: You've become, in many ways, a kind of surrogate parent to these kids.

KRZYZEWSKI: Yes.

MORGAN: What are the values you like to instill in them, human values?

KRZYZEWSKI: The main thing is to be truthful, where you're honest with one another. When you're honest -- if you can develop trust, to me that's the key ingredient in any relationship. If you trust, then a lot of things can happen. And respect for -- have ownership, where it's you're not playing for me. We're playing together, that type of thing. And I try to instill those values in my team, not just my Duke team, but our national team.

MORGAN: Finally, I can't think of a better person to ask this. You've seen so many players come and go. You've worked with the greatest basketball players, the greatest sportsmen in many cases America has ever seen. What does it take to be a champion sportsman, not just a winner or a good sportsman, or even necessarily a great sportsman, but a champion over a long period of time?

KRZYZEWSKI: Well, incredible commitment. You have to have talent. And you can't have a rearview mirror. You can't live in the past and you can't be someone who rationalizes that since you've done it before -- it's, at that moment of training or that moment of competition, where it would be all right to lose.

You have to be a real next-play person, with -- but take the experiences you've had in winning with you, none of the rationalization. But when you do, it's an incredible feeling. And then you separate yourself from those who would not do that. And that's part of sport.

MORGAN: You -- put me in the dressing room just before the first game.

KRZYZEWSKI: The first game?

MORGAN: In London, looking around Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Chris Paul, whoever you choose as your starters. What do you say to guys like that in that moment?

KRZYZEWSKI: You keep it simple. You never have long talks, but you talk about playing for the United -- you talk about the things, you know, that kind of get your heart moving a little bit, and the fact of legacy, like they will want to look back at this and to understand that they played great in every ball game. And it's not the NBA, where you're going to have a second chance.

In other words, if you lose, that's it. They're all seventh games in a series, like in the NBA, the final game. But to keep it simple, and by that time we should have great camaraderie, and make sure it's fun.

MORGAN: Coach K, very inspiring.

KRZYZEWSKI: Thank you.

MORGAN: Nice to meet you.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MORGAN: Next, Olympic great Janet Evans, and why even though she won't be competing in London, she personifies the pride of America.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) MORGAN: Tonight's Only in America, the true Olympic spirit. Win or lose, a real Olympic hero knows ending your career with grace is just as important as all of the medals you win on the way. Just ask swimmer Janet Evans. She knew her attempted come back after 15 years of retirement was a long shot. But she give it her all, and when she failed to make the team, she retired, this time for good. When I talked to her recently, she explained why she thinks it's all been worthwhile.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JANET EVANS, FORMER OLYMPIC SWIMMER: There is a little pressure, but there's not that much because this is all icing for me. It's never going to change what I've accomplished. They're never going to take my medals away. This was all kind of --

MORGAN: But let me play Devil's Advocate. You can slightly tarnish the legacy. The reason I say that to you, in Atlanta you had an amazing moment. You handed the torch, the Olympic torch to Mohammed Ali. Now that wasn't the Mohammed Ali of 10 years before. Everybody knows that. He's an astonishing iconic figure. But he fought too long. He had too many fights.

When you see somebody like him, as a sportsman yourself, is the resounding lesson to just know when to stop?

EVANS: I think we don't know when to stop. I think it's in our souls. I think it's a part of who we are. And I think if any of us think that we even stand a fighting chance, it's what we do.

MORGAN: Most experts would say at 40 you probably can't reach quite those heights. If you get badly beaten by a young whipper snapper, how are you going to feel?

EVANS: I'm going to feel OK. I am. I totally am. And you know that I am a huge competitor and you know that I don't like to lose. But I also --

MORGAN: Even when your husband beats you at Words with Friends, apparently you don't talk to him all night.

EVANS: I know because I'm a competitor. But I also think with age comes wisdom, and I think I have really good perspective. I really do. At the end of the day, I go home to two great kids and an awesome husband, who happens to beat me at Words with Friends. But, you know, it doesn't change who I am.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

MORGAN: Janet Evans, a true competitor and truly the pride of America. That's all for us tonight. Happy Fourth of July. Good night.