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Danell Leyva Just Placed In Rio On The Same Event He Lost In London

Earlier this year, Cuban-American gymnast Danell Leyva thought he would experience the Rio Olympics as an alternate. But an injury to fellow American John Orozco before the Olympics resulted in Leyva claiming the spot. Today, Leyva proved why he deserved to be there. The dude totally dominated in his two individual men’s gymnastics events and we couldn’t be prouder.

Danell Leyva’s first finals event was the parallel bars.

Credit: nbcolympics.com

Leyva was the first competitor to take to the parallel bars, setting the bar (?) for the rest of the Olympians battling for the gold.

He was strong, graceful and determined to medal.

Credit: nbcolympics.com

“I’m incredibly honored to be chosen for the team but I’m equally devastated for John having seen how much he’s fought and battled for his spot makes these circumstances even harder,” Leyva said in an Instagram post after Orozco tore his ACL during Olympic Team training.

And with a solid dismount, Leyva secured his place on the podium.

Credit: nbcolympics.com

Leyva took home the silver with a score of 15.900, just behind Ukraine’s Oleg Verniaiev, who scored a 16.041. The bronze medal went to Russia’s David Belyavsky, who scored a competitive 15.783.

Then it was on to the high bar. Leyva had a score to settle after his disappointing loss at the London 2012 Games.

Credit: nbcolympics.com

And, once again, the alternate turned medalist came through.

Leyva delivered a strong and intimidating routine. This time, he was the last of the finalists to compete.

Credit: nbcolympics.com

You could see his coach and stepfather, Yin Alvarez, nervously mimicking Leyva’s routine as if to help in spirit.

There was a small hop on the dismount, but overall, his performance made Germany’s Fabian Hambuechen, the leader, nervous.

Credit: nbcolympics.com

Once the results where final, Leyva ended up with his second silver medal for the U.S. in less than two hours. Leyva scored a respectable 15.500, falling just short of Hambuechen’s 15.766. The bronze was awarded to Great Britain’s Nile Wilson, who scored a 15.466.

Leyva’s coach/stepfather is all of us right now.

Credit: nbcolympics.com

READ: This Tearful Thank You By A Latino Gymnast Will Make You Hug Your Parents

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The Croquettes In Cuba Are Literally Exploding In People’s Faces

Culture

The Croquettes In Cuba Are Literally Exploding In People’s Faces

It’s the case of the exploding croquettes.

We’ve all been at least halfway there. So eager to get our hands on a freshly fried croquette whose smell of jamón is just too tasty to pass up. We get a little too eager and then a little burned. But in the case of dozens of Cubans on the little island, circumstances are much more sinister. Cubans have complained about experiencing severe burns from croquettes for months. Photos posted to social media sites show people with severe burns all of their faces, on their eyes, hands, and torsos.

Cubans are pointing their fingers at Prodal, a state company based in Havana saying they’re the ones to blame.

In a recent report by NBC, the exploding croquettes are being described as “tragicomedy” of strange proportions on the Caribbean island that “imports 60 percent to 70 percent of its food, according to official figures, because national production can’t meet the needs of its 11 million inhabitants.”

Prodal is a state company based in Havana that is being blamed for the incidents which have been cited on social media. In response, the company posted instructions on how to fry the croquettes to avoid “violent” incidents on Twitter.

According to NBC, Prodal produced 20,000 tons of food last year, which was largely made up of sausages and croquettes. The products are sold in government stores. 

Cuba’s Ministry of Domestic Trade told NBC that it has yet to investigate the complaints, saying the complaints “must be presented formally,” not through social media.

“We are investigating an incident with croquettes, but not with those of that company,” an official told NBC.

The bizarre incidents highlight how little guarantee Cubans have of the quality of the food that they purchase from government establishments. It also underlines the little efforts the government does to ensure citizens are compensated for buying food that is defective.

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Katherine Díaz, Salvadorian Surfing Star and Olympic Hopeful, Died After Being Struck By Lightening

Things That Matter

Katherine Díaz, Salvadorian Surfing Star and Olympic Hopeful, Died After Being Struck By Lightening

Photo via isasurfing/Instagram

A tragedy born from a freak accident is rocking El Salvador’s athletic community today. On Friday, El Salvador surfing star and Olympic hopeful, Katherine Diaz, died after being struck by lightening. She was training for an Olympic qualifier.

According to reports, lightning struck and killed 22-year-old Katherine Díaz right after she entered the water at El Tunco beach.

“Katherine came over to hug her [friend], as soon as she finished hugging her, the noise was heard,” her uncle Beto Dia “She, the friend, was thrown by the force of the lightning strike too, the board threw me back. Katherine died instantly.”

According to NBC News, onlookers pulled Katherine Diaz to the shore and attempted to revive her, but by that time, it was too late.

Her family, of course, is mourning the loss of their loved one. “We were very close,” her sister, Erika Diaz said to a local publication. “Katherine was a girl full of energy, with a free spirit who made everyday feel worthwhile. Unfortunately, she left us.” But Erika said she is glad that her sister passed while doing what she loved the most–surfing.

Katherine Díaz had dedicated her life to the complicated and rewarding sport of surfing.

Katherine Díaz Hernández had been surfing since she was 9-years-old. The 22-year-old was training to qualify for the 2021 Summer Olympics–the first time surfing would ever appear at the international games.

El Salvador’s surfing federation, FESASURF, released a statement lauding Díaz for her talent. “Katherine was a girl very passionate about sports, she was very motivated and happy for the event that was approaching.”

The International Surfing Association posted a tribute to Diaz on their Instagram page.

“Katherine embodied the joy and energy that make surfing so special and dear to us all, as a global ambassador of the sport,” they wrote. “She excelled at the international competition level, representing her country with pride at both the ISA World Surfing Games and ISA World Junior Surfing Championship.”

“We send our heartfelt condolences to Katherine’s family, the surfers of El Salvador, and to all those in the international surfing community whose lives she touched. We will never forget you.”

El Salvador’s surfing community has planned a “paddle-out” ceremony that is traditional in the death of a surfer.

According to Surfer Today, a paddle-out ceremony is “an ocean-based ceremony consisting of a mix of spiritual, metaphysical, and ritual actions that acknowledge, remember, and celebrate a fallen peer.”

“It’s a symbolic rite of passage that showcases traces of connection and separation, departure, and continuity.”

Katherine Díaz’s funeral services were on Saturday morning. The paddle-out ceremony will be held on Tuesday.

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