Cuban-American Danell Leyva proudly represented the United States at this year’s Olympics in Rio. Although team USA didn’t make the podium during the team event, Leyva still walked away with silver medals in the individual parallel bar and horizontal bars routines.
A photo posted by Danell J Leyva (@danelljleyva) on
To cap off his Olympic career, during the men’s exhibition night, Leyva decided to have some fun and perform half of his horizontal bars routine…shirtless.
In fact, it was a suggestion by his teammate Sam Mikulak. Mikulak thought it would make men’s gymnastics more popular. “People make fun of us for wearing tights. But if they saw how yoked we are, maybe that would make a difference.”
Mission accomplished. After seeing Leyva perform shirtless, the crowd went wild.
In 2016, a group of five young athletes went to the Summer Olympics in Rio Janerio with big dreams. There, the Olympians competed to be named the best in the world in their individual and group categories. Nicknamed the “Fab Five,” the women went on to earn silver and gold medals at the international games; proving that the gymnasts were the best of the best.
That same year, Laurie Hernandez — a member of the five — also earned gold on the TV dancing show, “Dancing with the Stars.” The athlete then focused her attention on the literary world. In 2017, she published her New York Times bestselling memoir, “I Got This,” and, in 2018, released her children’s picture book, “She’s Got This.” Hernandez even has a new hosting gig on “American Ninja Warrior” to keep her busy.
It seems that with every challenge she takes on, she succeeds.
Now the gymnast has her eyes set on 2020 and her next shot at Olympic greatness.
Twitter / @LaurieHernandez
Recently, Hernandez sat down with REFINERY 29 and shared her thoughts on power. Specifically, the Olympian explained what makes her feel powerful and what she does in those occasional times when she’s left feeling a little bit powerless.
Unsurprisingly, the athlete explained that she feels most powerful when moving and active. She discussed her workouts, saying:
“Sometimes it’s just gymnastics, but sometimes it’s doing other things, too — like cycling. But just testing how my body works makes me feel most powerful.”
Hernandez went on to elaborate that — to her — power isn’t just about physical strength. The Latina believes that power also lies in having a strong spirit and mind. She added:
“Gymnastics can be more mental than physical sometimes. So throughout training, going through different tests — whether that’s competing with a lot of people or just with yourself can build your mental strength. So, just learning how to calm myself down; I think that’s pretty powerful.”
The Olympic medalist admitted that it’s her relationship with her parents that brings her back when she’s feeling less than powerful.
Twitter / @Variety
Hernandez explained that even though she and her family are living on two separate coasts, her mom and dad are still the people she goes to when she needs a pep talk. She admitted:
“The first thing I do is reach out to my family and close friends. Sometimes I feel like they know me better than I know myself. Especially my mom and dad; they’ve been supporting me since day one. I feel like they have all the answers. Right now I’m training in California and my family is in New Jersey, so there’s a lot of FaceTime going on.”
Not only do her parents help her when she’s feeling powerless, but they are also her role models when it comes to strength.
Twitter / @OKMagazine
The Latinidad is very family-oriented so we can relate to this. Hernandez doesn’t just look to her parents to revitalize her when she feels powerless. She also considers them her examples when the athlete thinks about what power looks like. After asking if she could pick her mom and dad as her power icons in the interview, Hernandez continued:
“My icons are my parents. After having to raise three kids, they’ve gone through a lot of different struggles. My siblings and I have been able to do so much in our lives because we had a really good foundation. There’s only so much your parents can give you, and yet it feels like our parents really gave us the world.”
She went on to explain that the example that her parents provided her and her siblings early on setting them up for the rest of their lives.
“I think without that foundation and without the things they taught us when we were little, we wouldn’t be where we are today. They’re so kind to other people, and that’s something that I want to follow their lead on. So, they’re my power icons.”
Hernandez ended the interview by saying that her power anthem is Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Know” and it only seems too fitting because it looks like nothing can stop the Latina athlete from achieving her dreams. We will be rooting for more gold for the gymnast in her return back to competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.
It’s no doubt that the Japanese do a number of things better than anyone else.
As the host of the 2020 Olympics, Japan first wowed us with how they decided to produce the Olympic medals – by recycling gold, silver, and bronze found in discarded smartphones and laptops. A plan that not only saves them a ton of money, but is also really good for the environment!
Now, it appears that several artists in Japan have reimagined the flags of each competing country as anime samurais to help promote the Games.
A Japanese website is promoting the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in the most Japanese way possible – by combining anime and country flags of the world.
This project isn’t directly affiliated with the government of Japan or with the Japanese Olympics committee. It was just some artists who were excited for the Games and decided to draw some cool samurais and upload them onto a website called “World Flags” to help introduce people to the countries that will be competing in this global competition.
Although the artwork of each of the characters is very Japanese-inspired, each samurai is inspired by the culture, history and national identity of each country, giving us a “harmony in diversity” kind of vibe.
Check out some of the ones they did for Latin American countries below:
The Brazilian samurai has the traditional Brazilian flag front and center in its design. The samurai features the yellow diamond which represents “Mother Earth,” while the blue circle represents the morning sky above Rio de Janeiro on the day the republic was established.
By the way, there is a star that shines exceptionally big above the white belt in the stars among the stars in the blue circle, Virgo Spica. Many may think that this is the capital Brasilia. Actually, this is Para. It is neither Rio de Janeiro nor Sao Paulo. By the way, Brasilia is a small star at the bottom.
Argentina’s samurai is fully representing with the ‘sol de mayo.’
The colors in this samurai outfit are giving me life! And they also included the iconic Sol de Mayo prominently across his chest.
While Mexico’s is complete with an eagle!
We all know the Mexican flag has a giant eagle holding a snake in its talons, so to see it come to life in this form is so cool. And look at those boots!
The artist even named the samurai “Falconer.”
As for the meaning: Green means “the hope of the people in the destiny of the nation”, white means “catholic or religious purity”, red means “blood of a patriot who has united with the country.”
We might be biased, but we think the Latino samurai are probably the best out of them all.
But, in case you were wondering, here are some versions from other countries:
The artists gave a shout out to Old Glory with their version of the US samurai.
And according to the artists: White is purity and innocence. Red is hardiness and valor. Blue stands for vigilance, perseverance, and justice.
And India’s samurai looks pretty amazing.
The colors of the Indian samurai are as follows: the upper saffron color symbolizes Hinduism. The green in the lower row symbolizes Islam. The middle white means the reconciliation of both religions. The union of the two religions is the manifestation of the intention that it is essential for the unity of India.
And check out the one they drew up for South Africa.
There are two theories about the color of the national flag.
Red is the bloodshed of the past confrontation, blue is the sky and the surrounding sea, green represents farms and nature, yellow is mineral resources such as gold, black represents the black population, while white represents the white population.
Each of the colors is also derived from the British and Dutch flags of the former colonial powers.
And the Chinese have to got be loving their samurai interpretation.
Red is used as the main color of the flag in socialist countries. It can be seen with the former Soviet flag and the present Vietnam flag. It is a color that represents communism and socialism.
In China, the flag has become a symbol of class struggle between capitalists and workers. The largest of the yellow five stars is said to represent the Chinese Communist Party that leads to the revolution. The other four represent workers, farmers, patriotic capitalists, and intellectuals.
And can we talk about how hot the samurai is for Italy?!
The Italian flag and the French flag are the same tricolor flag although they are different in color. It is believed that the Napoleonic era is the beginning of the official use of the three-color flag of green, white and red in Italy.
The tricolor flag was revived as the flag of the Kingdom of Italy, after the defeat of Napolean.
While the samurai from the UAE comes with a legit sword!
The present design dates back to the country’s independence. Each color has a solid origin and meaning, and these four colors are said to be key Arab colors. The four colors are red, green, white and black. Countries around the Middle East also have some of the same four-color flags.
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