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The 2016 ‘Dancing With the Stars’ winner meets Kidsday

Kidsday reporters from Port Washington meet Olympic gymnast

Kidsday reporters from Port Washington meet Olympic gymnast and "Dancing with the Stars" winner Laurie Hernandez at the ABC Building in Manhattan. The group is, from left, Grace Carolan, Margaret Daly, Hernandez, Bridget Conneely and Amanda Fox, all 10, from St. Peter Alcantara School. Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly

Recently, we had the opportunity to meet gold medal winning Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez. It was a fantastic experience for us. Laurie does it all, besides being on tour with other gymnasts on the Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastic Champions, she was also the 2016 winner on the show, “Dancing with the Stars.”

We waited in anticipation for Laurie to show up for our interview at the studio. We kept on looking out the door of the conference room for her arrival. The second she walked in, she lit up the room with her smile and positive attitude. She was so sweet and unbelievably pretty. She hugged us all, and we felt like we were best friends, immediately.

We learned a lot about Laurie’s background. She was born in Old Bridge, New Jersey. She was 6 when she started gymnastics, and because of her dedication, she made the U.S. Girl’s Gymnastic Team. She attended the 2016 Rio Olympics and won a gold medal in the team all around category, silver on the individual balance beam, and bronze on the floor routine.

Laurie’s role model is former Olympian, Shawn Johnson. Her favorite events are the balance beam and the floor. She feels her favorite gymnastic move is a double backflip with a straight body. She said when she does her floor routines, it is like flying in the air.

We also talked to her about being on “Dancing with the Stars,” and being partnered with Val Chmerkovskiy. She told us her favorite dance on the show was done to a Michael Jackson song. Her new book is coming out on Jan. 24, 2017. It is titled, “I Got This: To Gold and Beyond.”

She said she wrote it to inspire people to reach for their dreams. Besides watching her great Olympic and dancing skills, we think you should check out YouTube and watch her throw the most amazing baseball pitch, which she did in September before a Mets game.

We asked Laurie if she gets nervous before competitions. She gave us a tip on how she calms down. Just put one hand on your stomach and feel how you breathe. We wished we had this tip before meeting Laurie because we were so nervous and excited to meet her.


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