Scores of well-wishers carrying signs, whistles, bike horns and tambourines gathered amid the glaring television camera lights cameras as they awaited the arrival of Leyva’s flight. It reached the gate shortly before 10 p.m.
Among those in the bronze-medal winner’s welcoming throng were both of his grandmothers, who hugged him joyfully when he stepped into the terminal and the crowd erupted in cheers.
“We’re very proud,” said one of his grandmothers, Susana Ruiz, as she waited for the plane. “We were really nervous because he was representing our country as an American and as a Cuban.”
“I’m excited to be home; excited to be back,” said the 20-year-old, Cuban-born Leyva, who lives in West Kendall. “This is really overwhelming.”
From his pants pockets, he pulled out his bronze medal and showed it to the well-wishers.
Young gymnasts, many of whom Leyva mentors at his family’s gym in Homestead, gathered around him in awe.
Leyva’s medal-winning performance has had an impact among the aspiring Olympic hopefuls who train at the gym, Universal Gymnastics in Homestead, some parents said Wednesday night.
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