Leyva's Win 'Just the Beginning': Aunt - NBC 6 South Florida
London 2012

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Leyva's Win 'Just the Beginning': Aunt

Leyva made a huge comeback Wednesday during the men's gymnastic finals



    Leyva's Win 'Just the Beginning': Aunt
    Getty Images
    Danell Leyva of the United States poses with his bronze medal during the medal ceremony for the Artistic Gymnastics Men's Individual All-Around final on Day 5 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at North Greenwich Arena on August 1, 2012 in London, England.

    Miami's very own Danell Leyva will bring home a bronze medal after making a major comeback Wednesday during the men's all-around gymnastics final.

    Leyva had spectacular routines on both the parallel bars and the high bar.

    Japan's Kohei Uchimura took the silver and Germany's Marcel Nguyen the silver.

    Leyva, a Homestead native, wasn't competing alone in London though, his extended family back in Miami was with him in spirit.

    "Oh my god. This is incredible," his aunt Mercedes LaPorta told NBC 6. "Wow."

    "He did it. I am so happy for him. He deserves it," she added. "His first Olympics and he comes home with a medal. This is just the beginning for him."

    When Leyva saw his high bar score, guaranteeing him a medal, he pumped his fist and threw a few roundhouse punches while his energetic stepfather and coach, Yin Alvarez, hopped up and down.

    Leyva joins 2004 champion Paul Hamm as the only U.S. men to win Olympic all-around medals since 1984.

    Leyva, along with John Orozco competed across all six gymnastics events for the distinction of world's best all-around Olympic gymnast — a title previously held by China's Yang Wei.

    Orozco fell short and did not medal.

    PHOTOS: Gymnastics: Men's All-Around Final

    Team USA gymnastics failed to medal during Monday’s games. The 20-year-old gymnast fell off the pommel horse, and teammate John Orozco fell to his feet on the vault.
    But Leyva reassured American fans as he exited the Olympic arena. He told an NBC reporter that although he was “not supper happy,” the team never lost spirit.
    “We didn’t do exactly what we wanted to do, but at the same time, you know, we did start off kind of slow and we had our mistakes,” he said. “But we never ever lost that fight. We never lost that USA spirit which is always fight and always go for that ultimate goal which is to win, you know. I feel like that’s the strength of our team and you could definitely see it.”

    LaPorta said Leyva was very focused drew from his family and his faith.

    She said that even when he was a young child, there was no stopping him from achieving his goal.

    "He's an incredible young man whose focus and determination, his dedication for gymnastics is just incredible," she said.

    She recounted a childhood story about her nephew. When he was young, his aunts bought him towels that he has kept ever since, and he brings them with him to competitions.

    "He gets strength from them," LaPorta said. "He never goes anywhere without his towels."

    Dramatic Photos: The London 2012 Olympic Games

    After Monday's loss, Leyva took to his Twitter and said the downfall would serve as motivation.

    “Didn’t turn out as planned but you better believe this is gonna serve as huge motivation for everything from here on out #AlwaysFight,” it read.

    The competition will be replayed tonight at 8 p.m. ET / P.T. on NBC.

    PHOTOS: Leyva Takes Bronze