American Olympic fans are buzzing with the breakout performance of gymnast, Laurie Hernandez, of the U.S. Olympics gymnastics team. Laurie Hernandez is Hispanic, and she is actually the first U.S. born Latina that has been on the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team in over three decades. Laurie Hernandez’s age also makes her even more intriguing. At just 16, she is the youngest member of the U.S. gymnastics team, so it’s even more shocking that Laurie Hernandez’ net worth is already estimated to be $2 million!
Hernandez has certainly made an impression at this year’s Rio Olympics. To see Laurie Hernandez on the balance beam, Laurie Hernandez on the vault, and especially seeing Laurie Hernandez on the floor exercise were all tremendous surprises. She did so well that it seems the whole world took notice! According to her comments, even Laurie herself was surprised.
“I’ve worked so hard for this moment, and I wanted to be out there for my country,” she said. “There was no doubt about my abilities at all in my mind.”
She actually beat out Gabby Douglas, who was the previous Olympic sweetheart and all around gold medal winner for the U.S. team. Hernandez was trending on Twitter during her routines, and even blew kisses to the audience once she was done dazzling the crowds.
Douglas even says of Hernandez performance, “I wish I could dance like Laurie. She can feel it during her floor routine like no one else I’ve ever seen. That’s why the crowd loves her so much, because it’s just natural for her.”
Jersey stand up! New Jersey natives have been standing and applauding in abundance for their hometown girl turned Olympic star. Hernandez was raised in New Brunswick, New Jersey. At the tender age of 9, her would-be coach, Martha Karolyi, noticed her at a developmental camp. She followed Hernandez’ progress over the years, and Hernandez herself would attend intensive training sessions at Karolyi’s Texas ranch.
The two have become so close that Karolyi refers to Hernandez as her, ‘baby girl.’ But although she’s still not yet technically an adult, Hernandez has gone on to make quite a name for herself. And it wasn’t easy. She has broken bones (including her elbow) and went through a period where solid foods were a “no-no” because she smashed her face on the balance beam! Ouch! That’s pretty tough for someone who isn’t allowed to sip sangria in her home country!
Her teammates often refer to her being “sassy.” This is something Hernandez has shown since she was ten years old. It has stuck with her and helped endear her to crowds all over the world. It’s also helped her make history for her Hispanic nation.
And to think none of this would have happened if not for some sugar cookies! That’s right, Laurie’s parents had to bribe her with some sugar cookies when she was just five so she would attend her ballet classes. Thank goodness for junk food!
Her character and personality have also earned her the nickname of the Human Emoji. That’s in part to all the cool facial expressions she makes while performing her routines. But it’s Hernandez’ confidence that stands out the most. When asked about feeling any pressure to perform at this year’s Olympics, she says looks at it more as an opportunity to represent “all the girls out there.”
And represent the girls she has! That and a whole lot more! We’re sure everyone is thrilled to have witnessed Laurie and the entire Final 5 as they dominated this year at the Rio Olympics!
To get more coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympics, including the real reason Michael Phelps was seen uncontrollably laughing during the American anthem, click here!