Tuesday marked the final of the 2012 London Olympic men’s and women’s artistic gymnastics competitions, which culminated with the individual apparatus events. While everyone knows that Team USA’s women’s team, comprised of “Fab Five” Gabby Douglas, 16, McKayla Maroney, 16, Jordyn Wieber, 17, Aly Raisman, 18, and Kyla Ross, 15, all but wiped the floor with competing nations’ gymnasts, America’s male gymnasts, comprised of Danell Leyva, 20, John Orozco, 19, Samuel Mikulak, 19, Jacob Dalton, 20, and team captain Jonathan Horton, 26, who won two medals in the 2008 Beijing games and was the only returning American male gymnast to the Olympics, didn’t enjoy such glitz or glamor.

In fact, the only glitz that came for anyone on the men’s team was in the form of Leyva’s comeback bronze medal for the men’s artistic individual all-around competition, which Douglas also won in the women’s. Everyone else went home empty-handed, with the entire U.S. team placing fifth for the team finals last week — an award that the women gymnasts took home.

In the horizontal bar event, which Leyva and Horton had both qualified for, they finished fifth and sixth, with scores of 15.833 and 15.466, respectively. “We just didn’t have the stuff those crazy, amazing guys had,” said Leyva reports the Miami Herald. “When I saw my score, I knew it wouldn’t be enough.”

When he says “those crazy, amazing guys,” Leyva mainly refers to Epke Zonderland, 26, of the Netherlands, whose difficulty level and astonishing performance on the horizontal bar earned him a whopping 16.533 score and the distinction of being the first Dutch male gymnast to win a medal at the Olympics. Germany’s Fabian Hambuchen, 24, wound up with the silver at a score of 16.400, while Zou Kai of China’s 16.366 helped him secure the bronze.

“We had a young team that experienced the Olympic games,” said Horton. “Mistakes were made, but we had to learn from this. I think we’ve awakened a sleeping giant because the U.S. can be a giant in this sport.”

Leyva agreed. “We just have to go home and get stronger.”

For more on Danell Leyva and Jonathan Horton:


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