Wed August 1, 2012
U.S. Gymnast Danell Leyva Wins Bronze In All-Around
U.S. gymnast Danell Leyva has won the bronze medal in the men's all-around competition in London. The gold was taken by Japanese star Kohei Uchimura, while the silver medal went to Marcel Nguyen of Germany.
With a final score of 92.690, Uchimura was nearly 2 points ahead of Leyva, at 90.698. And with his win, Uchimura vanquished the disappointments of his 2008 Beijing, when his struggles on the pommel horse cost him a gold medal.
Leyva, of Miami, took third place on his final rotation of the day, the high bar. He used that apparatus, and the parallel bars, to overcome poor scores on the pommel horse and rings.
American John Orozco finished in eighth place in the field of 24 contenders.
Update at p.m. ET: Leyva's Journey.
Born in Cardenas, Cuba, Leyva is one of the first Cuban-American to compete in U.S. gymnastics at the Olympics. His mother and stepfather, both gymnasts who competed for Cuba, immigrated to the United States in the early 1990s — as recounted in a recent article in The Miami New Times.
Leyva's bronze medal will help ease some of the frustration that followed the team competition, in which the talented U.S. gymnasts finished fifth, despite qualifying in first place. But the victory wasn't sealed until after Leyva's final routine.
The AP reports on his reaction:
"When Leyva saw his high bar score, guaranteeing him a medal, he pumped his fist and threw a few roundhouse punches while his energetic stepfather and coach, Yin Alvarez, hopped up and down."
Update at 3 p.m. ET: An early version of this story cited Leyva as the first Cuban-American to compete on a U.S. gymnastics team. As our readers pointed out, gymnast Annia Hatch, who immigrated to the United States in 1997, was part of the 2004 U.S. Olympic team in Athens.