On the heels of an amazing come-from-behind performance Wednesday, South Florida Olympian Danell Leyva said “it feels very, very good” to accomplish a lifelong goal.
“It's like you said, it's something I dream of,” Leyva said after winning an Olympic bronze medal in the men's individual all-around gymnastics competition. “It's something I've been dreaming of since I started.”
Leyva fell behind early in the competition, but stormed back and captured the bronze with a 15.7 score on the high bar in the final event.
He spoke with NBC 6 after his trip to the Olympic podium.
”When they put it on, you know, just seeing the rings, and seeing the angel, and like, the whole design. It's just, it's just unbelievable,” he said.
Leyva says his colorful coach and stepfather, Yin Alvarez, was the first to tell him the bronze was his.
Levya said he didn’t cry.
“But I mean, I was close, I was close to crying,” he said.
Earlier in the finals he put up low scores – sinking him as low as 17th place.
“I saw the score, I put the towel over my head, and I just went uhhhh. I was so, so angry,” he said.
But Levya rebounded with his trademark tricks on the high bar and parallel bars.
“I was nervous, obviously,” he said. “I mean, come on, it's the Olympic Games.”
The games that made him a bronze medal winner, and left him even hungrier for gold.
“One of the happiest moments of my life is right now, knowing that I have a bronze medal, and that's good because I'm going to come back,” he said. “I'm going for that 2016, I want to get that gold. Then, going again for 2020, and I want to get that gold again.”