Danell Leyva more than just gymnast

By Bonnie D. Ford, ESPN.com
Originally Published: 27 June 2012

MIAMI — Danell Leyva dreams of flying, and when he releases the high bar and swings into space during his routine, he comes close. Suspended in midtwist or midflip, he’s a skydiver savoring the split second before he pulls the rip cord.

Leyva knows exactly where he is in the air from instinct and from thousands of makes and misses, but the crowd tells him, too. There’s a collective intake of breath the first time he lets go, an almost harsh yelp of relief when he catches the bar. Another inhale for his next trick and then a louder, happier cheer when he grabs hold again. When he sticks his double-twisting, double-flipping dismount, planting his feet on the mat in a cloud of chalk dust and spreading his arms wide for balance, hearing the chorus in the stands voice its appreciation “is the best feeling ever,” Leyva says, his tone lowering reverently… Click here to read on


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