Interview: Laurie Hernandez back in training with an eye on 2020

Feb. 16 (UPI) — Gold and silver medal-winning gymnast Laurie Hernandez has confirmed she is training as soon as extra, hoping to qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

“It’s exciting, it’s hard, it’s a challenge, but I am so happy to be back. I love the sport,” the 18-year-old athlete instructed UPI, together with she feels a lot much less stress this time.

“Now, I get to go out and try new things and just go out there and have a good time,” she said. “The fact that I’m a little older is definitely helpful. I feel like I’ve learned a lot these past couple of years after the Olympics finished, and I’m going into it with a new mindset.”

After taking dwelling medals on the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Hernandez went on to compete in — and in the top win — Season 23 of ABC’s opponents current, Dancing with the Stars.

Partnered with expert dancer Val Chmerkovskiy, Hernandez charmed viewers and judges with her boundless energy, power and magnificence.

Her experience on DWTS elevated her confidence by troublesome her to memorize after which perform new routines each week for a reside television viewers.

“I had to go out there and be this confident little kid who acted like she knew exactly what she was doing. It was kind of like, ‘Fake it ’til you make it.’ If you fake it long enough, your body starts to really react to that,” she said.

The New Jersey native, who’s of Puerto Rican descent, is regarded by many as a constructive perform model for youthful girls. A commentator for Season 1 of Universal Kids’ American Ninja Warrior Junior obstacle-course program in 2018, Hernandez moreover wrote the uplifting youngsters’s e-book, She’s Got This, and was honored by Mattel with a Barbie doll crafted in her likeness.

“This is not something that I would have thought I’d have right now,” she said of her accomplishments.

“Having your own Barbie and having a children’s book out, it’s crazy. I just remember being widely impacted by the things that I had when I was a kid, and now I get to do that for someone else.”

Hernandez said she walked the runway for the American Heart Association’s present Go Red for Women development current on account of she has relations that endure from coronary coronary heart sickness and he or she needs to encourage ladies to deal with themselves by consuming well-balanced meals, healthful snacks and exercising.

“It’s something that is definitely dear to my heart,” she said, together with she tries to focus on her private effectively being, even when she is touring and busy juggling diverse duties.

“Just making sure that I’m eating when I’m hungry,” Hernandez said. “It’s making sure I’m planning my meals. Especially, as an athlete, we have to make sure that we are eating a lot, but also eating the right things.”

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