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Danell Leyva: American Gymnast Redeems Himself in Men's All-Around

Danell Leyva has a lot to happy about.
Danell Leyva has a lot to happy about.Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Oliver ThomasContributor IJanuary 3, 2015

U.S. Olympic gymnast Danell Leyva used Monday's failure to propel himself Wednesday, as he won bronze in men's individual all-around.

By clinching a medal, Leyva helped the Americans get back on track after placing fifth in the men's team final on July 30. That defeat was painful for the U.S. squad., especially Leyva.

The 20-year-old Cuban-born American was ready to put that previous defeat behind him, via USA Today's Kelly Whiteside:

He also said the deflating results would serve as motivation. "We're just going to use this as fuel," Leyva said. "It's easy to sit back and mope and be depressed about what happened. We were all sad we weren't able to do what we wanted to do but we're not done yet. We just need to shake it off and go onto the next thing."

He even turned to Twitter to voice his feelings after the team's disappointing results on Monday:

 

Didn't turn out as planned but you better believe this is gonna serve as huge motivation for everything from here on out #AlwaysFight

— Danell Johan Leyva (@DanellJLeyva) July 30, 2012

 

Leyva proved to be a man of his word. His final score of 90.698 on Wednesday was not enough to win gold, but it was close. According to NBCOlympics.com, Japan's Kohei Uchimura hoisted gold after posting a 92.690, while Germany's Marcel Nguyen took silver with a 91.031.

Despite the end result, it didn't always look pretty for Leyva.

In fact, he even found himself in 17th place early on in Wednesday's competition, cites Yahoo.com's Maggie Hendricks. The 5'7" Leyva was nearly knocked out of contention after struggling on the pommel horse, ranking 19th. In the rings, Leyva wasn't much better, landing in 14th position.

But once again, he shook it off.

In the horizontal bar, no one could touch Leyva, whose 15.7 score led the pack. Another respectable effort in the floor and parallel bar ensured Leyva a top finish.

It wasn't a gold for Leyva, yet it was certainly enough for team USA to be happy about.

The whole world now knows that Danell Leyva is a fighter.

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