ST. LOUIS -- You don't want to take your eyes off Danell Leyva as he competes in gymnastics. He is the reigning U.S. champion because of his high-flying release moves that demand your attention. However, if anything will make you turn your head, it's the moves of his stepfather and coach, Yin Alvarez.
During Leyva's performance, Alvarez performs every move on the ground. He gets the crowd going with large, overhead claps. If it's possible to share his energy with Leyva, Alvarez can do it as he hops, jumps and waves wildly during his son's routines. Watch Levya's vault from Thursday night, and see Alvarez (wearing a gray shirt) make an appearance at the end.
Leyva was born in Cuba, but is mother fled to the United States when he was a toddler. She and Alvarez were both gymnasts for Cuba, but couldn't realize their dream of opening a gym until they were in Miami.
Along the way, Leyva grew into one of the country's best gymnasts. At the Visa Championships in St. Louis this weekend, he is trying to realize one more family dream and make the Olympic team. As the reigning world champion at parallel bars and U.S. champ in all-around, horizontal bar and parallel bars, he has high expectations to make the team.
Alvarez will be with Leyva every step of the way -- both literally and figuratively.