Lauren Zoe Hernandez (born June 9, 2000) 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.[3]

Laurie Hernandez
Laurie Hernandez (35055904373) (cropped).jpg
Hernandez in Phoenix, Arizona in July 2017
Personal information
Full nameLauren Zoe Hernandez
Nickname(s)Laurie, Cutie, Human Emoji, Baby Shakira[1]
Country represented United States
Born (2000-06-09) June 9, 2000 (age 19)
Old Bridge Township, New Jersey
Training locationMorganville, New Jersey
Height5 ft 1 in (155 cm)[2]
DisciplineWomen's artistic gymnastics
LevelSenior International Elite
Years on national team2012–2016
ClubGym-Max Gymnastics (since 2018), MG Elite (former)
Head coach(es)Jenny Liang (since 2018), Maggie Haney (former)

In 2016, Hernandez won season 23 of Dancing with the Stars with partner Val Chmerkovskiy.

Personal lifeEdit

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, N.J.[4] She has a sister, Jelysa, and a brother, Marcus, who graduated from Rutgers University in 2018.[5] She is of Puerto Rican descent.[6][7] Hernandez is Christian and credits her positive nature to God moulding her every day.[8][9]

On June 25, 2018, Hernandez addressed the commencement exercises of Old Bridge High School and was awarded an honorary high school diploma, although she did not attend that school.[10]

Gymnastics careerEdit

Junior careerEdit


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.

In early July, 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.[11] 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.[12] 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.[13]


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.[14] 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.[15]

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).[16]

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.[17]

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.

Senior careerEdit


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.[18]

In June, Hernandez competed at the U.S. Classic[19] on bars only, scoring 15.400.[20] 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.[21]

Rio de Janeiro OlympicsEdit
Hernandez at the 2016 Summer Olympics

On August 7, Hernandez competed in the Women's Qualification at the 2016 Summer Olympics where the top 8 placing teams get to advance to the Team All Around Finals. Hernandez scored a 15.200 on the vault, a 15.366 on the balance beam, and a 14.800 on the floor exercise, qualifying to the balance beam event finals. Martha Karolyi decided not to put Hernandez onto the bars lineup in qualification due to Gabby Douglas and Madison Kocian both being brought onto the team to maximize their score on bars and to allow Simone Biles and Aly Raisman to qualify to the all-around final. She also posted the fourth highest score on floor, but did not advance to the final due to Biles and Raisman getting higher scores. August 9 was the Team All Around Finals meaning each country had 3 girls compete on each event and all scores counted. The US team, known as the Final Five, won the gold medal in the Team All Around. Hernandez contributed to the team by scoring 15.100 on vault, 15.233 on beam and 14.833 on floor. On August 15 during Event Finals, Hernandez won a silver medal on the Balance Beam with a score of 15.333. She placed ahead of teammate Simone Biles, who placed 3rd with a score of 14.733 after making an error and grabbing the beam, and behind Sanne Wevers of the Netherlands, who won gold with a score of 15.466.[22]


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.[23] In the summer of 2018, it was rumored that she had left her longtime gym, MG Elite, and was planning on training at Gym Max Gymnastics in Costa Mesa, California, the same gym that produced 2012 Olympic champion Kyla Ross. She later confirmed the move in the fall when she announced that she had returned to elite training.

Competitive historyEdit

Year Event Team AA VT UB BB FX
2012 American Classic (Junior) 8 10 8   6
Secret U.S. Classic (Junior) 11 10 23 7 6
Visa Championships (Junior) 21 19 19 21 17
2013 WOGA Classic (Junior)   4   4 9
Parkettes Invitational          
American Classic (Junior)     7    
Secret U.S. Classic (Junior) 6 8 8 16  
P&G Championships (Junior)   5      
Japan Junior International     6 4
Junior Mexican Cup    
2015 City of Jesolo Trophy (Junior)        
Secret U.S. Classic (Junior)          
P&G Championships (Junior)          
Japan Junior International          
2016 City of Jesolo Trophy        
Pacific Rim Championships  
Secret U.S. Classic 4
P&G Championships        
Olympic Trials   4 7    
Olympic Games    

Television careerEdit

Dancing with the StarsEdit

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.[24] The couple won the Mirrorball Trophy on the episode that aired November 22, 2016.[25] At 16, Hernandez is currently the show's youngest winner.[26]

In November 2017, Hernandez returned to 25th season in Week eight,[27] to participate in a trio Jive with Victoria Arlen and her professional partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy.[28]

Week # Dance / Song Judges' scores Result
Inaba Goodman Hough Tonioli
1 Cha-cha-cha / "American Girl" 8 8 7 8 Safe
2 Jive / "DuckTales" 8 8 8 8 Safe
3 Tango / "Into the Sunset" 7 8 8 8 Safe
4 Jazz / "The Way You Make Me Feel" 10 10 10 Safe
5 Paso Doble / " Rise" 8 9 8 No Elimination
6 Salsa / " Light It Up" 9 91 9 10 Safe
7 Quickstep / "One Fine Day"
Team Freestyle / "Embrace"
8 Viennese Waltz / "Pure Imagination"
Jive Dance Off / "The Purple People Eater"

9 Argentine Tango / "Cell Block Tango"
Team-Up Dance (Contemporary) / "Bird Set Free"
Foxtrot / "Hollow"
Trio Samba (with Maksim Chmerkovskiy) / "Magalenha"

Paso Doble / "Wicked Ones"
Freestyle / "Brand New"
Argentine Tango & Foxtrot Fusion / "We Are the Ones"

1 Score given by guest judge Pitbull.
2 Score given by guest judge Idina Menzel.

Other television rolesEdit

On July 15, 2018, Hernandez announced on Instagram that she will be co-hosting American Ninja Warrior Junior.[29]

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.[30]


Hernandez is known for her clean form and technique, her expressive choreography, and her entertaining floor routines. The following routines are those that were performed by her at a major competition during her first year as a senior gymnast.



  • Difficulty: 5.8 (maximum score 15.800)
  • Double twisting Yurchenko (Baitova) (roundoff, backhandspring entry, double twisting layout).

Uneven Bars:

  • Difficulty: 6.4 (maximum score 16.400)
  • Glide kip, cast to handstand (KCHS) on low bar (B); Stalder to handstand 1/1 (Frederick) (D) + Stalder Shaposhnikova to high bar (Chow) (D) + Straddled Tkatchev (D); KCHS (A) + Stalder to Piked Tkatchev (Downie) (F); KCHS (A) + Stalder to Straddled Tkatchev (Ricna) (E) + Pak Salto (D); KCHS with hop grip change (B) + Endo with 1/2 turn (C) + Stalder shoot up to high bar (Ray) (C); KCHS (A) + giant + Double Tuck 1/1 Dismount (D).

Balance Beam:

  • Difficulty: 6.5 (maximum score 16.500)
  • Side Split Mount (A); Front Pike (E); Front Aerial Walkover (D) + Sissone (A) + Split Jump (A); Flip Flop step-out (B) + Layout Step-Out (C) + Layout Step-Out (C); Full Turn (A); Sheep Jump (D); Front Tuck (D) + Wolf Jump (A); Aerial Cartwheel (D); Switch Split Leap (C) + Switch Split Leap 1/2 (D); Switch Split Ring Leap (E); Round-off + Double Pike Dismount (E).

Floor Exercise:

  • Difficulty: 6.1 (maximum score 16.100)
  • Round-off + Flip Flop two-feet + Double Layout (F); Round-off + Flip Flop two-feet + Tucked Arabian Double Front (E) + Stag Jump (A); Split Leap 3/2 (D); Front Layout (B) + Double Twisting Front Layout (D) + Punch Front Tuck (A); Switch Split Ring Leap (C) + Johnson 1/2 (C); Full Turn (A); Round-off + Flip Flop two-feet + Double Pike Dismount (D); Switch Split Leap 1/1 (D) + Split Jump (A).

In popular cultureEdit


Year Title Role Notes
2016 Dancing with the Stars Herself Contestant on Season 23
2017 Stuck in the Middle
2018 Sesame Street Cameo on Season 48
Celebrity Family Feud Summer 2018 Season
American Ninja Warrior Junior Co-Host
2019 Middle School Moguls Valeria Voice role

Other television/celebrity appearancesEdit

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 on her Instagram called I Got This: To Gold and Beyond. 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 her book.

In 2018, Laurie also published a similar children's book, titled She's Got This (written by Laurie Hernandez, illustrated by Nina Mata).


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Fincher, Julia (July 16, 2016). "Who is... Laurie Hernandez". Archived from the original on August 16, 2016. Retrieved August 13, 2016.
  2. ^ "Laurie Hernandez". Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  3. ^ Dillman, Lisa (August 27, 2016). "This young lady is light-years ahead of the competition". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  4. ^ "Laurie Hernandez".
  5. ^ Epstein, Sue; and Mishkin, Kate. Dating Reed Lindsey "N.J. town celebrates its new Olympian, gymnast Laurie Hernandez", NJ Advance Media for, July 11, 2016. Accessed July 12, 2016. "OLD BRIDGE — Laurie Hernandez, who won a spot on the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team Sunday night, is the talk of her hometown."
  6. ^ "Laurie Hernández Is the Second Puerto Rican Gymnast to Represent Team USA at the Olympics". July 10, 2016. Retrieved August 12, 2016.
  7. ^ Lilley, Sandra (2016). "Young Latina Gymnast Laurie Hernandez Earns Spot on U.S. Olympic Team". NBC. Retrieved July 12, 2016.
  8. ^ Stacie Fletcher (2016). "Gymnast hopes to head to Rio: 'I don't fear the future anymore'". Cru. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  9. ^ Tony Rossi (2016). "Gymnast Laurie Hernandez Wants God's Light to Shine Through Her". Patheos. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
  10. ^ "Old Bridge High School Class of 2018; Laurie Hernandez gets honorary degree". MY CENTRAL JERSEY. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  11. ^ "Lauren Hernandez". USA Gymnastics. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  12. ^ Laurie Hernandez Out with an Injury. Beam Dreams (January 31, 2014). Retrieved on 2016-08-09.
  13. ^ "Final national team camp for 2014 wraps up today". USA Gymnastics. November 25, 2014. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  14. ^ Lauren (March 28, 2015). "2015 City of Jesolo Trophy Final Results". The Gymternet. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  15. ^ "Jesolo: Event Final Results". The Couch Gymnast. Bea Gheorghisor. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  16. ^ "2015 Secret U.S. Classic Meet Results" (PDF). USA Gymnastics. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  17. ^ Lauren (August 24, 2015). "2015 U.S. Championships Results". The Gymternet. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  18. ^ Johnson, Rebecca (July 10, 2016). "Biles, Hernandez Not Participating In Pac Rims Event Finals". FloGymnastics. FloSports. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  19. ^ Johnson, Rebecca (June 5, 2016). "Golden Senior Routines – 2016 Secret U.S. Classic". FloGymnastics. FloSports. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  20. ^ "Secret U.S. Classic – Seniors". FloGymnastics. FloSports. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  21. ^ Penny, Brandon (July 10, 2016). "Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman Lead Olympic Women's Gymnastics Team". Team USA. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  22. ^ "2016 Rio Olympic Games Recap, Results & Photos". USA Gymnastics.
  23. ^ Hernandez opts to forego collegiate eligibility. (August 2, 2016)
  24. ^ "'DWTS' 2016 Celebrity Cast Revealed: Ryan Lochte, Amber Rose, Rick Perry Among Star Lineup". Good Morning America: Yahoo. August 30, 2016. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
  25. ^ "Dancing with the Stars Finale 2016 Recap: Who won the Mirrorball Trophy? - Dancing with the Stars". ABC.
  26. ^ "Laurie Hernandez wins Dancing with the Stars, youngest champion ever". Sports Illustrated. November 22, 2016. Archived from the original on November 23, 2016. Retrieved November 22, 2016.
  27. ^ Montgomery, Daniel. "'Dancing with the Stars' trio dances will invite back Kelly Monaco, Alfonso Ribeiro, Laurie Hernandez, Corbin Bleu". Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  28. ^ Brozyna, Emily. "'Dancing with the Stars' trio dances will invite back Kelly Monaco, Alfonso Ribeiro, Laurie Hernandez, Corbin Bleu". Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  29. ^ "Laurie Hernandez on Instagram: "GUYS… I'm SO EXCITED to tell you that I'll be CO-HOSTING AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR JUNIOR with @akbar_gbaja and @mattiseman on @UniversalKids…"". Instagram.
  30. ^ "Nickelodeon Greenlights 'Middle School Moguls' CG-Animated Specials; Jane Lynch, Tim Gunn Among Voice Cast". Deadline Hollywood. September 11, 2018.
  31. ^ Actresses, gymnast named grand marshals of 2020 Rose Parade, AP, October 15, 2019

External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Nyle DiMarco & Peta Murgatroyd
Dancing with the Stars (US) winners
Season 23
(Fall 2016 with Valentin Chmerkovskiy)
Succeeded by
Rashad Jennings & Emma Slater