Laurie Hernandez is an American gymnast of Puerto Rican descent.
What did she do?
Hernandez was on the Olympic team the Final Five that competed in the 2016 games in Rio de Janeiro. She helped her team win Olympic gold, and herself took home the silver medal for her performance on the balance beam.
She is the author of the book I Got This: To Gold and Beyond, in which she shares her story of her journey to the Olympics. Hernandez has also been a contestant on Dancing with the Stars where she was the youngest ever to win the Mirrorball Trophy.
Why does she matter?
Laurie Hernandez understands how important representation is. Growing up with dreams of becoming a gymnast, she did not see many Latin American women in the sport. She wants to be that role model for the young girls coming up after her. She feels it is important that she is visible and wears her curly hair with pride so that the next generation will as well.
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