Danell Leyva Fights Back Tears After Winning 2 Silver Medals in Rio - NBC 6 South Florida
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Danell Leyva Fights Back Tears After Winning 2 Silver Medals in Rio



    Danell Leyva Fights Back Tears After Winning 2 Silver Medals in Rio
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    Silver medalist Danell Leyva of the United States poses for photographs at the medal ceremony for the Parallel Bars on Day 11 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Arena on August 16, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    Danell Leyva had to fight back the tears.

    Standing on the podium in Rio after winning his second Olympic silver medal in less than 90 minutes Tuesday, he made eye contact with his family in the crowd.

    WATCH: Danell Leyva on Winning 2 Silver Medals in Rio

    That's when the emotion of the moment hit him.

    "I saw my girlfriend out there and I, saw my mom, and I was like oh no wait, stop wait," he said. "And then when I saw my mom later it was even harder."

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    The Cuban-born gymnast from Miami not only wowed the audience in Rio, he also has a fan in Simone Biles. The 4-time Gold medal winner stopped in the middle of her interviews to watch Leyva on the Horizontal Bar. When he was done, she cheered, knowing her fellow American had just earned another Silver medal.

    Silver in the Parallel Bars, only one-tenth of a point behind Ukraine's Oleg Verniaev for gold. And then silver again in the Horizontal Bar, a death-defying event where Leyva excels.

    Although, that wasn't the case just last week. During Olympic Team Finals, Leyva uncharacteristically fell off the bar.

    And it wasn't the case less than a month before the Olympics, when Leyva was named an alternate, and only became a competing member of the team when John Orozco tore his ACL.

    WATCH: Danell Leyva Reflects on Winning 2 Silver Medals

    It's a comeback story that explains why Leyva can't stop smiling right now. He's too humble to be defiant. It's not in his character. But deep down, it must feel good to take home more medals than anyone on the USA Men's Gymnastics team.

    "Incredible. It really is a dream come true man," Leyva said.

    Leyva knew he nailed the landing in the parallel bars and it's safe to say his coach and father Yin Alvarez did too.

    "Last Olympics in London we [came] like king of USA and finished with one bronze medal, this time he came as a back up, the guy that just replaced a guy, and he finished with two silver medals," Alvarez said. "He's very strong mentally. His preparation was very good and he did the right thing on the right day."

    Leyva says he's incredible thankful for all of his fans back in South Florida and he loves the support from the Hispanic community.

    He returns to his gym in West Kendall with three total Olympic medals. Leyva won bronze in the All-Around in London in 2012. So will he go for gold in 2020?

    "Ohhhh," Leyva exhaled, then smiled. "I don't know yet, I gotta take some time off but maybe, we'll see."

    It's too soon for him to think about the future. Leyva will be 28 at the next Olympics. But if anyone can do it, it's the most decorated Olympic Men's Gymnast for Team USA in the last decade.