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Danell Leyva

Danell Leyva Weho pommel
Gymnastics USA

Danell Leyva

Danell Leyva
  • Birth date 10/30/1991
  • Birthplace Matanzas
  • Hometown Miami, Florida
  • Residence Homestead, Florida
  • Height/Weight 5'8"/ 158 lbs
  • Olympics 2012


After Danell Leyva’s first gymnastics lesson at 3 years old, his coach told his mother, “Please, don’t bring him back.” Luckily a family friend, Yin Alvarez, saw Leyva’s potential, and soon Alvarez became Leyva’s stepfather as well as longtime coach. Alvarez was by Leyva’s side at the 2012 London Olympics, where Leyva won the U.S. men’s Olympic gymnastics team’s only medal of the competition. His shot at the all-around podium seemed to be gone when he made a mistake on pommel horse and fell to 19th place after two rotations in the final. But with his stepfather cheering him on in his distinctively effusive way, Leyva posted the night’s highest scores on parallel bars and horizontal bar to win an Olympic bronze medal. He also finished fifth in the high bar final and with the U.S. in the team event. Leyva has kept up his winning ways at the gymnastics world championships, winning a silver on parallel bars and team bronze in 2014, and a silver on horizontal bar in 2015. He wasn’t in top form at the first Olympic selection event in 2016, and was initially chosen as an alternate for the Rio Olympic team. But when John Orozco, another 2012 Olympian, tore his ACL in training, Leyva was chosen to replace him.
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Getting to know Danell Leyva


Was born in Cuba and defected to Miami at 2 years old with his mother and sister


His Olympic and world championship medals were stolen out of his car, then found on a bus


Has been the national champion on parallel bars four times (2010-2012, 2014)

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