It is hard to believe that Laurie Hernandez is only 17-years-old. It was just last year when she captured our hearts at the Rio Olympics and went on to be the youngest winner of Dancing with the Stars in 2016 with partner Val Chmerkovskiy. In addition to being a guest on many talk shows, she also had cameos on Sesame Street and Stuck in the Middle as herself. She will be seen in an upcoming episode of Law and Order: SVU. Everything she does turns into gold.
Hernandez was part of the “final five” Olympic gymnastics team and is a two-time Olympic medalist in artistic gymnastics earning a gold team medal, as well as the silver in the balance beam in Rio. The Olympics was her first international meet.
She was born in New Jersey to Anthony and Wanda Hernandez. She has a brother named Marcus and a sister named Jelysa. All of the Hernandez kids are active in sports. She was able to keep up her studies and training by being homeschooled. She is now a high school junior and is considering where she wants to go to college.
She and her mom partnered with Febreze for their “I Love You, But You Stink” campaign.
In January, she published an inspirational book detailing her life story, complete with many funny anecdotes and showcasing her supportive family as well as the sacrifices she has to make to make her dreams control. It is called I Got This: To Gold and Beyond and it went on to become a New York Times best-seller.
Hernandez is proud of her Puerto Rican heritage. She joins Jennifer Lopez, Benicio del Toro, Jimmy Smits, Rita Moreno, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Natalie Morales, Ricky Martin, Hector Elizondo, and Lin-Manuel Miranda as one the most popular celebrities who are of Puerto Rican descent. She loves making Puerto Rican food with her family, and she said makes a great sofrito to go with arroz con gandules.
Laurie Hernandez spoke with Michelle Tompkins for the Inquisitr about her training, school plans, her favorite things about being on DWTS, who she keeps up with from the show, tips on how to keep your gear smelling clean and fresh via Febreze, her Puerto Rican pride, how she likes to connect with fans, what’s next for her, and more.
The complete interview can be seen below.
[Featured Image by John Salangsang/Invision/AP Images]