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Danell Leyva Biography

Birth Name:
Danell Johan Leyva
Birth Place:
Matanzas, Cuba

Fast Facts

  • Fled to U
  • S
  • from Cuba with his mother when he was a toddler
  • Mother and stepfather, Yin Alvarez, are former Cuban national team gymnasts
  • Pulled out of public school in first grade to enroll full-time at his stepfather's gymnastics school in Miami
  • Alvarez is also Danell's coach and is known for his exuberance and histrionics while Leyva is competing
  • Won World Championship medals in parallel bars (2011 gold; 2014 silver), horizontal bar (2015 silver) and team (2011 and 2014 bronze)
  • Captured a bronze medal in the individual all-around at the 2012 London Olympics
  • Was originally named an alternate for the 2016 Olympics in Rio, but was called up when John Orozco was injured
  • Won a pair of silver medals on the parallel bar and high bar at the 2016 Olympics in Rio
  • Has a signature move named for him ("the Leyva") on the parallel bars



    • Johann Leyva -- Father
    • Dayanis Mesa -- Half Sister
    • Maria Gonzalez -- Mother
    • Yin Alvarez -- Stepfather