The United States women have dominated the gymnastics scene at the 2012 London Olympics, but it was an American male who was captivating the fans Wednesday afternoon.
Danell Leyva, a 20-year-old who migrated from Cuba as an infant, won the bronze medal in the men's individual all-around competition. It was a brilliant performance from Leyva, who's gravity-defying routines were among the most spectacular athletic displays you could ever see.
However, as good as he was, Leyva wasn't able to overcome silver-medalist Marcel Nguyen of Germany and Kohei Uchimura of Japan, the heavy favorite who didn't disappoint on his way to the gold.
All three men provided some incredible moments throughout the day. Here are the most notable ones they produced.
Kohei Uchimura's Floor Exercise
After winning the all-around silver in Beijing and following it up by winning three consecutive World Championships, there were some heavy expectations on the shoulders of Uchimura.
The nimble 23-year-old didn't disappoint, dominating from start to finish. He basically wrapped up the gold medal halfway through the competition, allowing him to let loose on his final event, the floor exercise.
Kohei was simply magical on the mat, rapidly twisting through the air with grace and precision. He stuck every move and finished with a score of 15.100 to seal his victory.
Marcel Nguyen on the Rings
Marcel Nguyen, the half-Vietnamese-half-German who was born in Munich, made history by becoming the first German male to medal in the all-around competition since 1936.
His defining moment came on the rings, when he finished with the high score of 15.366. It was a brilliant performance, and considering his struggles beforehand on the pommel horse, you have to appreciate Nguyen's resilience.
Nguyen also excelled on the uneven bars, where he finished tied for first with Leyva.
Danell Leyva on the High Bar
The highlight of the entire competition was Leyva's incredible display on the high bar.
The 20-year-old's routine was smooth and daring, as he gracefully flipped above the bar in seemingly effortless fashion. The crowd was awestruck as he twisted through the air, perfectly executing every move he attempted.
Leyva was awarded a score of 15.700, the best of anybody on the horizontal bar. The score also guaranteed him a medal, and you couldn't help but smile as he realized this, then celebrated in animated fashion with his stepfather and coach, Yin Alvarez.
It was an incredible moment for Leyva, a beautiful occurrence that captured the spirit of the Olympic Games.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!