U.S. Gymnast Danell Leyva Slips From Pommel Horse, Team Finishes Fifth
The USA men's gymnastic team had kicked off the 2012 Olympics with high hopes and realistic plans of walking away from the games with no less than a bronze medal since their qualification on Monday for the gymnastic team finals.
However, their dreams crashed around them on Monday, along with U.S. gymnast Danell Leyva, who slipped on the pommel horse on his vault and had a messy landing, reports the Miami Herald. Things already hadn't been going so well for the U.S. team, which finished fifth in Monday's games — a far cry from its third-place finishes at the 2008 and 2011 World Championships.
"It would be easy to mope and be depressed but what we're about is getting back up and fighting harder," Leyva said after his slip from the pommel horse — historically the U.S. men's gymnastic team's weakest event — had him walking off the floor shaking his head, ending up with a 13.4 score, the second lowest of the evening. "We had an off day, but we never lost our spirit," he said of Team USA.
Apart from Jonathan Horton, who sat down to exclusively chat with Uinterview before the games, all the gymnasts on the men's team — John Orozco, Sam Mikulak, Jake Dalton and Leyva — are Olympic first-timers, so it's possible that nerves got in the way of a stellar performance.
Orozco also had an incident of sorts on his vault dismount, and recognized that there were a lot of factors at play that didn't just have to do with technique. "The pressure shouldn't have an effect," he later told the Herald, "but I guess it does because I didn't do as well as I had hoped."
Check out our exclusive with U.S. Olympic gymnast Jonathan Horton here:
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