Olympics 2012: Gymnasts Orozco, Leyva live the American Dream

Olympics 2012: Gymnasts Orozco, Leyva live the American Dream
John Orozco and Danell Leyva

The U.S. men's gymnastics team had high hopes of winning Olympic team gold.

Fifth place is a disappointment for this team.

But there are still two stars on the team who have lived the American Dream. They are Latino gymnasts John Orozco and Danell Leyva.

Orozco of Puerto Rican heritage grew up in the hardscrabble Bronx. His family wasn't wealthy and at times they slept in their car when they went to out of town meets.

“When I first started out (in gymnastics), I realized I’m the only one who looks like this out here,” Orozco said after he was officially named as a 2012 Olympian, according to FoxSports. “But the sport is progressing really well. There’s a lot more diversity this time around. That’s what makes the U.S. so great, is that we’re so diverse.”

Leyva was born in Cuba and his mother fled that country to get her son better medical care. He overcame asthma and adversity to help her son succeed in the United States.

His mother worked as a house cleaner and even delivered newspapers when she first came to the United States.

“America is big, and not because the land,” Alvarez said. “America is big because it’s the only country in the world that accepts everybody in the world. What is America? America is African-Americans. America is Germans. America is Brazilians, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, everybody in the world. That’s what makes America big, because this is the country that opens the door for everybody in the world."

Both young men should be proud to be at the Olympics and they are winners for that.

Hopefully, they will win some medals in Wednesday's all around competition to complete their dreams.

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