One of the best parts of the Olympics is the gymnastics portion. Both men and women’s gymnastics feature amazing strength and real-life action heroes are born every 4 years when young girls and boys see what these athletes are able to do on the beam. This year the U.S. women’s gymnastics has a Latina and her name is Laurie (Lauren) Hernández.
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At just 16 years old, she’s the youngest member of the team, she’s from New Brunswick, New Jersey and Puerto Rican. “My earliest memory was watching gymnastics on live TV, and wanting to do what the ‘big girls’ did,” said Hernandez. Initially she took ballet classes, but she didn’t like ballet, despite the fact that her parents bribed her with cookies so she would continue to go. She insisted that she wanted to be a gymnast and at age 5 she began doing gymnastics.
Hernandez showed promise in gymnastics and by the time she was 9 years old, she already held the top spot in the Talent Opportunity Program, which measures basic gymnastics skills and physical aptitude. She proved that she was good and was accepted to the USA Gymnastics’ national development camps, where she only got better with experience.
Her career was heading in the right direction until 2014 when she fractured her wrist, then dislocated her right kneecap, which tore her patella ligament and bruised her MCL. Ouch! After that accident on the vault, she took off a year to build up her strength. Then in 2015 she enter 4 competitions, 2 domestic and 2 international and excelled all-around bringing medals in all four events.
The International Gymnast Magazine called Hernández the “Human Emoji,” because of her facial expressions when she’s competing. Check out her out during the Olympic trials. We can’t wait to see her compete in Rio this August!