Wilson withdraws from U.S. gymnastics

HOUSTON The 33-year-old Wilson, who won the all-around national title five straight years from 1996-2000, then said he was through with the sport.

"I'm done for my career," Wilson told The Associated Press after dropping out following poor performances on the high bar and floor exercise. He did not come out when scheduled to compete on pommel horse, then left the arena.

"It's been a good run. "

In 2003, Wilson won his first world championships medal when the U.S. men took the silver. A year later, he stood on the Olympic podium when the Americans won the silver medal in Athens.

He didn't return to competition until early this year for two events and did well enough to earn a spot at nationals. But he lasted about one hour before calling it quits.

Wilson scored a 14.00 on the horizontal bar, then got a 13.20 in floor exercise.

"I got through floor exercise and I said I'm just tired," he said. "I came off the floor and I said to Miles (coach Miles Avery), `I don't want to get hurt.' It was a good idea for me to walk away."

Wilson walked away with little fanfare.

"It was hard enough for me to walk off that floor," he admitted. "It's not about me retiring. It's about these guys making the team. It's about those guys on the floor. I didn't want to make it about me. "

Wilson fought through injuries during his 15-year career at the senior level. He had seven surgeries, including one less than six months before the Athens Games after he tore his left biceps completely off the bone. As the Beijing Olympics approached, though, the fire to compete returned.

"If I can still do gymnastics at my age and still be fairly good at it, then why not?" he said earlier this year. "To make another Olympic team, it would be better than the other three. Just based on the fact I was at the top of my game in those. Right now, it's more like, 'How hard can you actually work to get this done?"'

Despite all the work, Wilson couldn't get it done.

"I've had a great career," he said Thursday night. "I'd love to be on that floor again, but I think I've reached my full potential."

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