Danell Leyva overcame a terrible performance on the pommel horse on Wednesday to finish in third in the men’s all-around gymnastics at the Summer Games in London. The 20-year-old gymnast from South Florida was spectacular on the parallel bars and high bar, helping him bounce back from 19th place. But it’s not Leyva’s bronze medal that has people talking; it’s his lucky towel that has captured everyone’s attention.
Leyva brings a towel with him wherever he goes, and he can be seen with it wrapped over his head like blinders before competition. After winning bronze on Wednesday, he explained the story behind the towel.
“One aunt went to go buy a towel, and the other one went to her house to get a towel for me because I wanted something to wipe my sweat off. And they both came back with the exact same towel. I said, ‘OK, this is a coincidence. I’m going to keep these two as my lucky towels,'” Leyva said, according to Yahoo! Sports’ Joe Lago.
“One of them ripped a couple of months later, so I just had the one. I’ve had it since 2007. It hasn’t left my side since.”
Leyva is adamant that the towel is lucky.
“It’s definitely good luck,” he told NBC’s Ryan Seacrest.
That it is despite Leyva washing it every three days or so.
The towel has become one of those odd symbols that becomes popular on the Internet. Much like the St. Louis Cardinals’ Rally Squirrel that got its own baseball card and Twitter account, Leyva’s towel has blown up online.
A Twitter account called “Danell Leyva’s Towel” has thousands of followers and is making light of all the attention paid to it:
OMG! It’s a fluff piece all about meeeee!
— Danell Leyva’s Towel (@LeyvasTowel) August 2, 2012
It’s just one of those things that can’t be explained. The good news is the towel shouldn’t be a source of controversy like Ryan Lochte’s grill.
Photo Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY SportsGoogle+