Olympics hopeful Danell Leyva was born in Cuba, where his stepfather, Yin Alvarez, and mother, Maria, were members of Cuba's gymnastics team. Leyva talks about how he was inspired in this short video.
At Universal Gymnastics in Miami, a hometown crowd gathered Saturday to watch Olympian Danell Leyva's qualification round in men's gymnastics.
The 20-year-old is poised to hit it big, and his journey started at Universal Gymnastics where 50 gymnasts, parents and friends watched him compete from the very mats he hits during practice. Leyva trains at the center, which is owned by his step-father, who is also his coach.
"Super nervous, really nervous, but I know he can do it," said Daniella Mendez, also a gymnast.
"I feel very excited. I've known Danell since he was about 3 years old, and I know how hard this training has been for him," said Jeanne Barrera.
Leyva has helped some of his fellow athletes.
"he told me to think about my routine and to imagine me doing my routine," fellow gymnast Travis Wong.
Leyva has set a high bar around the center.
"He's extremely hard working, persistent, won't give up on anything," said Ari Barrera. "He has the spirit."
And as the first Cuban-American gymnast, Leyva plans to do more than win over the crowd.
"Miami, as you know most of the population here are Hispanic, so I think it's very hard. Everybody comes here for a dream and making it to the Olympic team representing such a big important country is a real big dream come true," said Marisol Martinez, a parent.
The top eight countries on Saturday advance to the team finals on Monday.