1. Sports
Send to a Friend via Email

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:

http://gymnastics.about.com/od/athletestowatch/p/Danell-Leyva.htm

was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

Danell Leyva

By

Danell Leyva

Danell Leyva at the 2011 worlds

© Lintao Zhang / Getty Images
Danell Leyva was the 2011 US national all-around champion, and won the 2011 world title on parallel bars. He was a member of the 2012 US Olympic team and won a bronze medal in the Olympic all-around finals.

A Mixed Bag at Worlds:

At the 2011 World Championships Leyva helped the US team win a bronze medal, and qualified to the all-around and parallel bars event finals. In the all-around, Leyva crashed on a full-twisting reverse hecht on high bar, hitting his face on the bar. He wasn't hurt badly, but was unable to finish the routine, and ended up last overall in the standings because of this. (Watch his routines from the all-around competition.)

Leyva fought back in the p-bars event final, though. He took the top spot -- winning the first world gold for the US men's program since 2003. Leyva told the Associated Press after, "It feels amazing to do a routine like I did and get a gold medal. It's pretty amazing, to be honest. I've always wanted to win but I didn't think I was going to." Watch Leyva's parallel bars set.

Olympic Dreams:

Leyva was never afraid to talk about his biggest goal: making the 2012 Olympic team. He told USA Gymnastics, "For me, [thinking about the Olympics] pumps me up. I picture myself being there everyday, and I get excited. It makes me happy. My dream is coming true. I'm really excited and can't wait for it."

In June of 2012, at the Olympic Trials, Leyva's dream came true. He won the competition, earning an automatic berth onto the team.

2012 Games:

Danell Leyva had a great competition during the preliminary day of competition at the Olympics. He finished at the top of the all-around standings, qualifying into the individual finals contested on Aug. 1. He also led the US to a berth in the team finals, and qualified to the individual event finals in high bar.

In the team finals on July 30, however, Leyva struggled on pommel horse. He rallied on the other events, but the US team counted multiple errors throughout the night and finished a disappointing fifth.

In the all-around final two nights later, Leyva came back from a very low pommel horse score (13.500) to earn the highest scores of the meet on both parallel bars and high bar and win the bronze medal.

Leyva placed fifth in the high bar finals a few days later.

Personal Life:

Danell Leyva was born October 30, 1991 in Cuba, but his mother, Maria Gonzalez, defected from Cuba when he was a baby. He is coached by his stepfather, Yin Alvarez, and counts Miami, Florida, as his hometown.

Gymnastics Results:

International:
  • 2013 French International World Cup: 1st high bar
  • 2013 AT&T American Cup: 6th all-around
  • 2012 World Cup, Glasgow, Scotland: 4th all-around
  • 2012 World Cup, Stuttgart, Germany: 5th all-around
  • 2012 Olympic Games: 5th team; 3rd all-around; 5th high bar
  • 2011 World Championships: 3rd team; 1st p-bars
  • 2011 Japan Cup: 2nd team; 3rd all-around
  • 2011 Paris World Cup: 2nd high bar
  • 2010 World Championships: 4th team; 5th high bar
  • 2010 Pacific Rim Championships: 1st team; 7th all-around; 3rd rings; 1st p-bars; 1st high bar
  • 2009 World Championships: 4th high bar
  • 2009 World Cup: 4th high bar
  • 2008 PAGU Individual Event Championships: 2nd pommel horse; 2nd p-bars; 1st high bar
  • 2008 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships (Jr. Division): 1st team; 1st all-around; 3rd p-bars
  • 2008 USA vs Canada: 1st team; 3rd all-around; 4th pommel horse; 3rd vault; 4th high bar
  • 2007 Junior Pan American Championships: 1st team; 4th all-around; 4th pommel horse; 4th vault; 1st high bar
  • 2007 International Jr. Japan Competition: 3rd all-around; 2nd floor; 4th rings; 3rd vault (tie); 3rd p-bars; 2nd high bar
National:
  • 2013 National Qualifier: 1st all-around; 3rd vault (tie); 1st p-bars; 1st high bar
  • 2013 Winter Cup Challenge: 3rd all-around; 5th rings; 1st p-bars; 1st high bar
  • 2012 US Olympic Trials: 1st all-around; 8th floor; 2nd pommel horse; 7th rings; 6th vault (tie); 1st p-bars; 1st high bar
  • 2012 Visa Championships (US nationals): 2nd all-around; 5th floor; 4th pommel horse; 1st p-bars; 1st high bar
  • 2012 National Qualifier: 6th floor; 3rd vault; 2nd p-bars
  • 2012 Winter Cup Challenge: 4th all-around; 2nd floor; 4th p-bars; 1st high bar (tie)
  • 2011 Visa Championships (US nationals): 1st all-around; 4th pommel horse; 1st p-bars; 1st high bar
  • 2011 Winter Cup Challenge: 2nd all-around; 4th rings; 1st p-bars; 1st high bar
  • 2010 Visa Championships: 2nd all-around; 1st p-bars; 3rd high bar
  • 2010 National Qualifier: 2nd all-around; 2nd rings; 1st high bar
  • 2010 Winter Cup Challenge: 4th all-around; 1st p-bars; 2nd high bar
  • 2009 Visa Championships: 5th all-around; 2nd p-bars (tie); 1st high bar (tie)
  • 2009 Winter Cup Challenge: 2nd all-around; 1st p-bars; 3rd high bar
  • 2008 Men's Junior Olympic National Championships: 1st all-around; 1st pommel horse; 1st p-bars; 1st high bar
  • 2008 Visa Championships: 8th high bar
  • 2008 US Men's Qualifier: 3rd all-around; 4th p-bars; 3rd high bar
  • 2007 Men's Junior Olympic National Championships: 1st all-around; 2nd floor; 2nd rings; 1st p-bars; 1st high bar
  • 2006 Visa Championships (Jr. Division): 1st all-around; 1st floor (tie); 4th pommel horse; 5th rings; 2nd p-bars (tie) 1st high bar

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.