Danell Leyva poses for a portrait at the U.S. Olympic Committee/NBC Olympics on Nov. 17, 2015 in Los Angeles.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Danell Leyva (artistic gymnastics; Homestead, Florida) was selected by the International Olympic Committee to serve as an Athlete Role Model at the Summer Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018, joining fellow Americans Clarissa Chun (wrestling; Honolulu, Hawaii), Daryl Homer (fencing; Bronx, New York), Josh Levin (climbing; Sunnyvale, California) and Moy Rivas (sport dancing; Houston, Texas), who were named to the program in November. The 54 ARMs will play a key role in supporting and mentoring the nearly 4,000 athletes who be competing at the Games, to be held Oct. 6-18.
A three-time Olympic medalist, Leyva entered the elite gymnastics circuit in 2006, winning the all-around, floor and high bar titles at his first U.S. championships. After claiming the world title in parallel bars in 2011, the Cuban-American made his Olympic debut at the Olympic Games London 2012, capturing the bronze medal in the all-around competition. He went on to win a pair of silver medals at the Rio 2016 Games, ending a 20-year U.S. medal drought in parallel bars. He is the first American gymnast to be named a Youth Olympic Games Athlete Role Model.
The ARMs will be accessible to the athletes in the Youth Olympic Village and during “Chat with Champions” sessions – a Q&A format to promote discussion with the young athletes. The ARMs will also lead a series of educational activities and workshops within the IOC’s Learn & Share Program that will focus on skills and professional development, Olympism and how to lead healthy lifestyles.
The 2018 Youth Olympic Games will mark the fifth installment of the ARM program following its successful debut at the inaugural Summer Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010.