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Old Bridge, New Jersey’s Laurie Hernandez Earns Spot on U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team Headed to Rio

Laurie Hernandez (USA Today Sports)

Laurie Hernandez (USA Today Sports)


The United States Women’s Gymnastics team is one of the hardest teams in the world to make. A testament to the talent in this country, the depth the United States has annual showcased is tremendous. Unfortunately, only five women are able to compete in the Olympics. The United States could probably enter two teams in the Olympics and come away with the gold and silver team medals…but only one is allowed.

This year’s group may be the best overall gymnastics team the United States has sent to an Olympics.

Laurie Hernandez, a 16-year old from Old Bridge, New Jersey was named as one of the five women heading to Rio. She will join the big names of Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, and Simone Biles, along with Madison Kocian. The United States will undoubtedly be heavily favorite to win the gold medal next month.

Raisman and Douglas are the first American gymnasts to make back-to-back Olympic teams since Amy Chow and Dominique Dawes in 2000. Douglas is the defending Olympic all-around champion while Raisman was the most decorated gymnast at the 2012 London Olympics with two golds and a bronze. They provide the Olympic experience.

Biles will be competing in her first Olympics but will likely be the favorite to win the all-around title. The explosive gymnast has not lost an all-around competition since 2013.

Hernandez finished second in the all-around at Olympics Trials this weekend, showing she can compete with the big names. Her energetic star has the ability to steal the show in Rio. Don’t be surprised if she is in the mix in the all-around competition. Her floor routine is a spectacle you don’t want to miss, but she can battle the best in all events. Her 15.70 score on the balance beam was the best of the weekend.

While many gymnasts are that of a serious nature and focus, Hernandez can sometimes be seen as a happy-go-lucky type that is full of energy, keeping everyone upbeat. Her teammates call her the “Human Emoji” and her smile is infectious.

Just six months ago, many did not know who Laurie Hernandez was. Now, at just 16, Hernandez has become a fan favorite, and a star that is ready to take the world by storm.



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