Gymnast Laurie Hernandez may have captured Olympic gold and silver in Rio for the U.S., along with stealing America's heart with her smile and spirit, but her loyalty is as true and deep as her family's Latino roots. With two parents from the island of Puerto Rico, Hernandez grew up surrounded by Puerto Rican culture, proudly representing Latinas in a sport that didn't have many of them, as she explained in a recent interview with ESPN's Sarina Morales.
Some may quibble about her lack of Spanish language skills, but there's no doubt that Hernandez identifies strongly as Hispanic and has claimed that descriptor as an honor. Only 16, Hernandez turned pro shortly before the Olympics began.
While another run at the Olympics in the next edition is still possible, Hernandez is also making time for other endeavors in her post-Rio journey. She is now taking her sass and spark nationwide, competing on the show Dancing With the Stars.