Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez is a force to be reckoned with. In one year, the 17-year-old gymnast has become a household name, won season 23 of Dancing With The Stars, published her book I Got This: To Gold and Beyond, and paired up with the American Egg Board to promote the You’re Incredible Because campaign, which rewards kids for taking part in projects that improve their schools and communities. The bubbly teen, who has yet to finish high school, has gracefully taken on the role of overnight phenomenon.
We caught up with her to learn more about her road to success.
Family has always been one of the keys to her success: “My parents and my family are the backbones of who I am. Being able to be taught kindness from my mom and respect from my dad while having older siblings who were there to guide me along the way, whether it was through gymnastics or life. I value that a lot and I think that other people will value that about their kids, too.”
Her positivity makes her incredibe. “I guess I think I'm incredible because of my positivity. I think that is the one thing I try to keep as much as I can. Being positive is one way to resonate with everyone,” Hernandez told Parents.com. “I think being able to be so positive and so grateful comes from my parents. If you met them, you would see they are as smiley as I am.”
Her fans help keep her grounded. “Being able to see such a kind response from everyone, that means a lot to me. It means a lot of people, especially little kids, are valuing all the things that I am doing, and hopefully, I am teaching them as well,” she explained.
She runs on healthy fuel. “I have noticed that the best way to train as an athlete is to make sure that you are feeding yourself with the right proteins and with the right nutrients for your body,” Hernandez said. “I have never been on a diet. It's just making sure that I am doing things to fuel my body and I'm eating things that work for me.”
She still has goals. Hernandez may have conquered the gymnastics world, but finishing high school and looking forward to college are her upcoming goals—though pursuing academics doesn’t mean an early retirement. Hernandez did mention “hopefully” taking on 2020—because why not have it all?
Surrounding yourself with people who support you, promote healthy living, and exude positivity—that's Hernandez's recipe for success, and it certainly has worked for her.
If you have an incredible kid who's doing something egg-ceptional in school or your community, share their story at Incredibleegg.org. They could win a school breakfast party, an all-expenses paid trip to Chicago for an Incredible Kids ceremony, grant money, and the opportunity to hang out with Laurie Hernandez.