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Laurie Hernandez    

Olympic Gold Medal Winning U.S.Gymnast; Won Season 23 of Dancing With The Stars

Gymnast Lauren “Laurie” Hernandez was born on June 9, 2000 in New Brunswick, New Jersey. She is the youngest of three children born to parents Anthony and Wanda Hernandez. Her mother is a social worker who has also served in the Army Reserves and her father is a court officer in New Jersey. She and her siblings, brother Marcus and sister Jelysa, were all athletic from a young age.

When Hernandez was six, her parents signed her up for gymnastics classes in her hometown of Old Bridge. It was there she came to the attention of Maggie Haney, who would become her coach and manager. She would attend the USA Gymnastics development camps at age nine where she excelled. In 2014, Hernandez was sidelined with injuries that included a dislocated right kneecap and a fractured wrist.

A year later she was back in action and performed in four competitions, where she earned medals in every event and an all-around gold. In 2015, the junior gymnastics champion didn't qualify for the U.S. team for the world championships because of her age at the time. But in 2016, she made her debut as a senior gymnast and earned the bronze medal in the all-around at the City of Jesolo Trophy in Italy, among others.

In July 2016, Hernandez competed in San Jose, California for a spot on Team U.S.A. Known for her signature dance moves, effervescent personality and expressive face, she captivated the audience and judges alike. In the 2016 Olympic Games, Hernandez won gold and silver medals. After the Olympic Games, she won the Mirrorball trophy on the 23rd season of "Dancing With the Stars".

Hernandez is one of only a handful of Latinas (Tracee Talavera, Annia Hatch and Kyla Ross being the others) to represent the U.S. since 1936.

"I’m just proud of my heritage," Hernandez said in an interview with NBC. "I think it’s amazing that I can just go out there and be myself, and the fact that I’m carrying Puerto Rico on my back a little bit, I think that’s an honor."

News


‘DWTS’ 2016 Celebrity Cast Revealed: Ryan Lochte, Amber Rose, Rick Perry Among Star Lineup

Olympic gold medalists Ryan Lochte and Laurie Hernandez are joining the celebrity cast of season 23 of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,”...

'Dancing with the Stars' Winner Is...

Fans of season 23 of "Dancing With the Stars" are probably not too surprised by who won. Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez took home the Mirrorball Trophy...

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