American gymnast Danell Leyva overcame several stumbles on Wednesday to win the bronze medal in the men's all-around competition. But Leyva's lucky towel also came out of the competition a winner: Overnight the blue and gray cloth became an Internet sensation, with a Twitter following of more than 10,000 fans.
"I am Danell Leyva's Towel, the true star of men's gymnastics," states the towel's profile, whose administrator remains unknown.
And it's a hard point to argue. The towel, which also has a Tumblr following, has certainly enjoyed its share of the limelight during NBC's coverage of the games. Between events, Leyva uses the towel as a sort of mobile cave, draping it over his head to block out the competition and maintain his focus.
During the all-around final, NBC even took time out of the "live" action to air a segment with Ryan Seacrest, Leyva, Leyva's towel and Leyva's stepfather/coach, Yin Alvarez.
"So let's see this thing," Seacrest said, handling the towel, which is adorned with stars and a border of crescent moons.
"I have this with me everywhere I go," Leyva explained during the clip. "It's definitely lucky."
Shortly after the segment aired, this tweet appeared on the Towel's account:
The charismatic Leyva, whose family fled Cuba before settling in Miami, is not one to shy from the spotlight. He gained notoriety early on during the competition when a series of self-portraits went viral.
During a post-podium interview, Leyva happily addressed some of the more pressing questions of the competition.
"I do wash [the towel.] It's not all sweaty and nasty," Leyva said. "I do wash it like every three days or so."
But the origins of the now-ubiquitous lucky charm are fairly mundane. Yahoo! Sports has the details:
"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," Leyva explained. "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.' 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 said he does not know who is behind the hilarious Twitter persona, but he's a fan.
"It's crazy," Leyva told USA Today. "It's kinda cool."
No word yet on whether or not the confident rag will be granting any interviews.