On Saturday night, he stood in the center of the arena, a U.S. Olympian.
With his mother and stepfather by his side, Leyva completed his family’s incredible journey, beating John Orozco to win the Olympic trials and clinching an automatic spot on the men’s gymnastics team. As he climbed off the podium after his last event, his stepfather greeted him with a bow and Leyva picked him up in a bear hug.
“It’s big,” said Alvarez, who fled Cuba a year before Leyva. “It’s big because I wanted to be an Olympian, and (Leyva) represents me. And all Cuban immigrants who came to this country for a better life and to make something (of themselves).”
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