Danell Leyva: Star Must Atone for Team Failure by Winning Individual All-Around

Alex KayCorrespondent IAugust 1, 2012

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 30:  Danell Leyva of the United States of America chalks his hands in the Artistic Gymnastics Men's Team final on Day 3 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on July 30, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Danell Leyva and the United States men’s artistic gymnastics team had a real chance to win the gold medal at the all-around competition, but they came up woefully short.

After his dreadful performance, Leyva must redeem himself and his country in the individual all-around event.

The Cuban-American gymnast struggled tremendously on the pommel horse, highlighted by an ugly initial fall. He recovered during the high bar, but it wasn’t enough to save Team USA from an awful fifth-place finish—behind China, Japan, Great Britain and the Ukraine.

Those results left Leyva without a medal in the Olympics, even though he has earned plenty of gold ones in many different high-level competitions throughout the world.

He’s hoping to earn his first and most important medal in the individual competition that takes place at 11:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, August 1.

The 20-year-old will be competing against teammate John Orozco and a number of top gymnasts in the world, including Japan’s Kohei Uchimura and Germany’s Fabian Hambuechen.

It seems it will all come down to who is flawless and who caves under the pressure on the biggest stage of these young men’s lives.

A fall did Leyva in during the team competition, and it remains to be seen what that has done to his psyche. If he can shake it off and go out there on Wednesday morning with a clear head, the American star will be fine.

He must not let his prior failures get to his head, as it will certainly spell out another defeat. A gold medal in the individual event will certainly ease the pain of the team failure.