The USA men’s gymnastics team at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London includes 19-year-old, Cuban born Danell Leyva and four others that hope to upgrade bronze medals in Beijing to gold in London. Team USA is off to a good start, as evidenced by these remarkable photos from day one.
On July 28, the men’s gymnastics team, led by Leyva, landed at the top of the rankings after one day of competition, meaning Team USA easily advances to the finals. Teams Russia, Great Britain and Japan came in second, third and fourth place respectively.
Danell Leyva will anchor the men’s gymnastics Team USA when it competes in the finals on Monday, July 30. Leyva is the kind of rags-to-riches athlete that Americans love to support and see succeed. His family fled Cuba when Danell was young to seek medical treatment for his asthma. The Olympic athlete grew up on the mean streets of the Bronx. “The Bronx is not really a hotbed of gymnastics at this level,” Leyva told “The New York Times.” However, the driven and determined gymnast stuck with his sport and is America’s biggest hope for a gold medal in the 2012 Olympics.
Leyva came in second place overall and first place for parallel bars (his signature event) at the Visa Championship in June. He’s the current World holder in parallel bars and the first American to win a World title since 2003. Although he won one gold medal at World, 20-year-old Danell Leyva has high hopes for several more at the 2012 Olympics.
Others to watch on the men’s gymnastics Team USA include John Orozco, Jonathan Horton, Sam Mikulak and Jake Dalton. All will compete with Leyva on Monday for a Best Overall Team medal. Even though Team USA had the best overall score in the qualifying round, the scores do not carry over into the finals. It will be a new day with a new slate for the Olympic athletes. TV viewers in the USA will watch to see if the men’s gymnastic team can rise to the top again and claim gold in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Leyva told his teammates and the international press after Team USA qualified for the finals on July 28, “Stay grounded. Stay humble. It’s the Olympics. You can’t be too confident. If you are, you’re going to slip up and do something that you don’t want to do.”
For a complete TV listing of Summer Olympics televised events, go to NBColympics.com and enter your zip code for area-specific information.
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