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Lauren

Lauren HERNANDEZ

United States of America
TeamUnited States of America
Artistic GymnasticsArtistic Gymnastics
Olympic Medals
1G
1S
Games Participations1
First Olympic GamesRio 2016
Year of Birth2000
Social Media

Biography

New Jersey-born Hernandez was one of the first generation of athletes born in the 21st century to win an Olympic gold medal – just under a month after her 16th birthday. The 5ft (1.5m) tall gymnast was part of the USA’s remarkable “Final Five” team at Rio 2016 – alongside brilliant teammates MyKayla Skinner, Gabby Douglas, Madison Kocian, and Simone Biles, herself already considered possibly the best gymnast of all time.

In Rio, Hernandez bagged a gold medal in the team event, and later in the Games secured an individual silver medal in the balance beam, beating Biles who placed third. Hernandez, who now trains in California, loves the apparatus. “Beam routines are a minute and 30 seconds long, and that’s a minute and 30 seconds that I really get to zone in on what I'm doing,” she said. “It feels good.”


Post-Games, Hernandez became something of a celebrity back home. She competed on – and won – series 23 of Dancing with the Stars, partnering Val Chmerkovskiy and becoming the youngest winner in the show’s history. She called the experience “a crazy roller-coaster” after being described as ‘Little Miss Dynamite’ by head judge Len Goodman. “My goal is to inspire others as I go on with my journey,” said Hernandez. She’s since forged something of a second career as a TV star – co-hosting American Ninja Warrior Junior and starring in the Nickelodeon series Middle School Moguls.

Being a gymnast means having the strength to hold on and the courage to let go.”

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