Leyva, who will anchor the U.S. men’s gymnastics team on Monday, wanted to get to the Olympics ever since he was a young boy, his relatives and friends said.
“This has been his dream since a young child,” his cousin Dianelys Garcia said in Spanish.
Garcia said the family is “very proud and excited and not only are proud for the family but for the Latin community. He was born in Cuba and he came here as a young child and now he is representing the USA team.”
The team is looking to snag its first team gold since 1984.
Back at Universal Gymnastics in Miami, which is owned by Leyva’s coach and step-father, Yin Alvarez, fellow gymnast Edward Mesa, 21, will be watching with anticipation. Leyva and Mesa have trained together for the past 10 years.
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