London 2012
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Country Sport Name
Danell Leyva
Danell Leyva United States of America

  • Country: United States
  • Sport: Gymnastics
  • Height: 5'7" / 1.70m
  • Weight: 161 lbs / 73.0 kg
  • Born: 10/30/1991
  • Hometown: Miami, FL, USA
  • Career Highlights: Leyva was born in Cuba and was a year old when his mother and father, members of the Cuban gymnastics team, defected to the United States and put their son on a course to develop into a 2012 Olympian. That happened when Leyva won the U.S. trials and cemented his status as a serious threat to take gold in all-around in London. The 2011 world champion on parallel bars also helped the United States to a team bronze at worlds that year, and he was the 2011 U.S. champion as well. Leyva's specialties are the parallel bars and the horizontal bar, the latter being his favorite event in which he combines high-flying release moves, highly difficult routines and originality. Those dynamic performances on the apparatus may prove to be among the most attention-grabbing moments of the Games. Despite his accomplishments, Leyva may head into the Olympics feeling he has something to prove after a last-place finish in the all-around at worlds last year, as he clipped his chin on the horizontal bar on a release move and fell. Even that low moment eventually exhibited a positive for Leyva, who showed his resilience two days later by winning gold in parallel bars. He is a seven-time U.S. champion - six in individual events - and he won the 2012 American Cup while defending his U.S. titles in parallel bars and horizontal bar. The theatrical and energetic Leyva forms half of a 1-2 punch with 2012 national champion John Orozco that leads a talented but young U.S. team, one seeking its first all-around Olympic gold since 1984. He is coached by stepfather Yin Alvarez, also a member of the Cuban gymnastics team who defected and is known for his uncommonly enthusiastic cheering for his stepson during routines.
  • Previous Olympics: None
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