Laurie Hernandez Wiki – Laurie Hernandez Biography
Lauren Zoe “Laurie” Hernandez is an American artistic gymnast. She competed as a member of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team dubbed the “Final Five” at the 2016 Summer Olympics, winning gold in the team event and silver on the balance beam.
In 2016, Hernandez won season 23 of Dancing with the Stars with partner Val Chmerkovskiy.
Laurie Hernandez had dreams of being on the USA gymnastics team again for the 2020 Olympics, but the 2016 gold medalist’s comeback got a late start because of a verbally and emotionally abusive coach.
After that coach, former US Olympic coach Maggie Haney was suspended for eight years by USA Gymnastics on Wednesday, Hernandez opened up about the toll Haney took on her.
“This was the biggest reason my comeback was so late,” Hernandez wrote in an Instagram post-Thursday, though she did not refer to Haney by name. “I thought I hated gymnastics and it wasn’t until mid-2018 I realized that it was the people that made the experience worse, not the sport itself. I moved across the country (NJ-CA) at 18 to try a fresh start. I wanted to unlearn a lot of the bad habits physically, but mostly mentally, that I had picked up as a result of my old experiences. (My mental health journey has been quite a rollercoaster.)
FAQs Facts You Need to Know
Born: June 9, 2000 (age 19 years), Old Bridge Township, NJ
Height: 5′ 1″
Years on national team: 2012–2016
Head coach(es): Jenny Liang (since 2018), Maggie Haney (former)
Books: I Got This: To Gold and Beyond, She’s Got This,
Hernandez was born in Old Bridge Township, New Jersey, the daughter of Wanda and Anthony Hernandez. She attended Abeka Academy High School in Old Bridge, New Jersey. She has a sister, Jelysa, and a brother, Marcus, who graduated from Rutgers University in 2018. She is of Puerto Rican descent.
Hernandez’s elite career started in 2012 at the U.S. Classic, where she placed 11th in the junior division at the age of 12. Through the Classic, she qualified to the National Championships in St. Louis, where she placed 21st after two days of competition.
Hernandez’s first meet of the 2013 season was the WOGA Classic, where she placed second in the all-around. In June, she competed at the American Classic in Huntsville, Texas. There, she placed first on floor exercise, second in the all-around behind Ariana Agrapides, and third on balance beam and vault.
Hernandez won the junior all-around at the 2013 Elite National Qualifier. Following a national training camp, in July 2013 Hernandez was added to the U.S. junior national team. She then went to Chicago for the U.S. Classic, where she placed sixth all-around and won the floor exercise title. At the National Championships in August, she won the silver medal in the junior all-around competition with a total score of 116.650, behind Bailie Key. She also placed second on uneven bars and floor exercise, and tied for third on beam with Alexis Vasquez.
In September, Hernandez was selected to represent the U.S. at the Junior Japan International in Yokohama. She scored 56.750 to win the bronze medal in the all-around. She also took third on vault, fourth on floor exercise, and sixth on balance beam. Later in 2013, she competed at the International Junior Mexican Cup in Acapulco and helped the U.S. team—Hernandez, Key, Veronica Hults, and Emily Gaskins—win the gold medal. She also took second place in the all-around behind Key.
In early 2014, Hernandez fractured her wrist when she slipped off the beam in a training session. She returned to competition soon after the injury but then suffered a torn patellar tendon and dislocated kneecap, resulting in six months out of gymnastics. She resumed training in the fall and attended the final U.S. training camp of the year in November.
Hernandez was named to the U.S. team for the 2015 City of Jesolo Trophy, where she was crowned junior all-around champion with a score of 57.650, ahead of teammates Norah Flatley and Jazmyn Foberg. In the junior-division event finals, she earned additional gold medals on the uneven bars, with a score of 14.500, and the floor exercise, with a score of 14.650.
At the 2015 U.S. Classic in July, Hernandez won the junior all-around title with a score of 58.450, as well as winning vault (14.900) and uneven bars (15.000). She placed third on balance beam (14.200) and floor exercise (14.350, tied with Deanne Soza).
At the National Championships, she had a score of 57.900 on the first day of competition and 59.550 on the second day, winning the junior all-around title over defending champion Foberg. She also won the title on the uneven bars with a combined two-day score of 30.100, silver on the floor exercise, and bronze on balance beam and vault.
Hernandez was then selected to compete at the 2015 International Junior Japan Meet in Yokohama, where she won the all-around, floor exercise, and vault and earned silver medals on balance beam and uneven bars. It was during this meet that she met Andrea for the first time.
Hernandez made her senior debut in 2016. In March, she competed at the City of Jesolo Trophy in Jesolo, Italy, earning the bronze medal in the all-around with a score of 58.550, behind two U.S. teammates, fellow first-year senior Ragan Smith and Gabby Douglas, the 2012 Olympic all-around champion. She also earned a silver medal on vault and a gold medal on balance beam, ahead of Smith and 2012 Olympian Aly Raisman.
In April, Hernandez competed at the Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships in Everett, Washington along with Raisman, Smith, three-time world all-around champion Simone Biles, and 2015 World Championships team member Brenna Dowell. She contributed an all-around score of 59.800 toward the American team’s first-place finish and placed third individually behind Biles and Raisman, but did not earn the all-around bronze medal because of a rule limiting medals to two gymnasts per country (Japan’s Nagi Kajita took bronze instead). Hernandez also qualified for the balance beam final, but USA Gymnastics announced that she and Biles would not compete in event finals in order to rest them before the Olympics.
In June, Hernandez competed at the U.S. Classic on bars only, scoring 15.400. Later that month, she competed all four events at the National Championships. At the end of night one, she was tied for second place in the all-around with Raisman, behind Biles, with a score of 60.450. On night two, she scored 14.800 on vault, 15.150 on uneven bars, 15.300 on balance beam, and 14.800 on floor exercise. She finished the two-day competition in third all-around, behind Biles and Raisman. She placed third on uneven bars and balance beam, and tied for third on floor exercise with MyKayla Skinner.
At the Olympic Trials in early July, Hernandez placed second in the all-around, behind Biles. She was named to the Olympic team alongside Biles, Douglas, Raisman and Madison Kocian.
In 2014, Hernandez committed to the University of Florida to compete on the Florida Gators gymnastics team in the NCAA. However, she decided to forgo NCAA eligibility and become a professional athlete on August 3, 2016, in the lead-up to the Olympic Games.
Television roles and media appearances
Dancing with the Stars
Hernandez was revealed as one of the celebrities competing on season 23 of Dancing with the Stars on August 30, 2016. She was partnered with professional dancer Valentin Chmerkovskiy. The couple won the Mirrorball Trophy on the episode that aired November 22, 2016. At 16, Hernandez is currently the show’s youngest winner.
In November 2017, Hernandez returned to the 25th season in week eight, to participate in a trio jive with Victoria Arlen and her professional partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy.
Other television roles
On July 15, 2018, Hernandez announced on Instagram that she will be co-hosting American Ninja Warrior Junior.
On September 11, 2018, it was announced that Hernandez would be joining Jane Lynch and Tim Gunn in the Nickelodeon animated mini-series Middle School Moguls, voicing a character named Valeria.
Hernandez has appeared on many talk shows: The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Entertainment Tonight, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Access Hollywood Live, Omg! Insider, Hollywood Today Live, and Stuck in the Middle.
On November 24, 2016, she appeared on the 90th anniversary of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. She was on the Spirit of America float.
From November 24-26 2017, Hernandez was the special guest narrator for the Candlelight Processional at Epcot Center in Disney World.
On October 31, 2016, Hernandez announced her book I Got This: To Gold and Beyond on Instagram. The release date was January 24, 2017. On February 1, Hernandez shared on Instagram and Twitter that she became a New York Times Best Selling Author for the book.
In 2018, Hernandez published a similar children’s book for younger readers titled She’s Got This, with illustrations by Nina Mata.