American gymnast Danell Leyva fell to 17th place in the first two mandatory events of six in the 2012 Olympic games. But the Cuban-American gymnast did manage to bounce back from that, as he was able to climb back up to third place and captured a bronze medal in the all-around in the process, as reported by ESPN.com.
He has the opportunity to continue his medal-winning quest on the horizontal bar. Luckily for Leyva, the horizontal bar is his specialty, so much that his jam-dislocate-hop to undergrips move has become a signature move of sorts. A stellar execution of the move would definitely call for a great score from the judges.
Leyva has previously captured gold in the horizontal bar, though not in the Olympic games. He won gold at the 2010 Pacific Rim Championships in Melbourne, Australia, which shows his capability as a gymnast.
He has become the new face of American gymnastics just as the American team is attempting to show their dominance after falling behind to China in the 2008 Beijing games.
The American gymnastics team has not been dominant in recent memory, but Leyva could change that. The horizontal bar is his opportunity to exhibit his gracefulness and overall experience at the high bar.
Leyva has the definite focus to win the horizontal bar, as he is usually seen with his blue towel over his head, seemingly blocking everything in his mind in order to properly plan his next move.
A win in the horizontal bar would not only signal Leyva's dominance in the sport, but would also introduce him as the hero his family has seen he can be.
According to NBCMiami.com, his aunt has been quoted as saying, “It is just the beginning...he is a hometown hero and is going to be a national hero very soon...we’re expecting him to win gold.”
Of course, this a a daunting task for anyone to achieve, but with Leyva’s ability to bounce back after falling behind early in the games, that may be a walk in the park at this point.