Danell Leyva: Why Future Is Bright for USA Gymnastics Team Star

Thomas GaliciaContributor IIJuly 28, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28:  Danell Leyva of the United States watches in the Artistic Gymnastics Men's Team qualification on Day 1 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 28, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The US Men's Olympic Gymnastics team came into London with high expectations that so far look well on their way to being met.

On Saturday, they finished first in team qualifying, lead by Danell Leyva's all-around score of 91.265. Considered a favorite to leave London with a medal, the 20-year-old Leyva, so far, is justifying the status given to him by those in the gymnastics community.

Of course everything starts all over again on Monday in the team all-around finals. While the Americans qualified with the highest score, they will have to either repeat or exceed their Saturday performance in two days in order to come home with what would be their first gold medal since 1984.

Danell Leyva has a chance to win both the team all-around and the individual all-around this summer and, with his performance, is just one step closer to both. His top score qualified him and teammate John Orozco, who placed fourth, for the all-around individual competition scheduled for later this week.

A successful Olympics at 20 years old could only boost Leyva for bigger and better things. He will only be 24 when the Olympics come to Rio in 2016, and with his good looks and charisma, he will find himself with other opportunities outside of gymnastics.

Saturday was his first step; he's still going to have to finish the job.

But with the greatness he demonstrated on this day, Leyva showed the world that the future is a bright one for the gymnastics star.

A future that could be even brighter by the end of this week.