Laurie Hernandez During Balance Beam

Hernandez made her senior debut in 2016. In March, she competed at the City of Jesolo Trophy in Jesolo, Italy, earning the bronze medal in the all-around with a score of 58.550, behind two U.S. teammates, fellow first-year senior Ragan Smith and Gabby Douglas, the 2012 Olympic all-around champion. She also earned a silver medal on vault and a gold medal on balance beam, ahead of Smith and 2012 Olympian Aly Raisman.

In April, Hernandez competed at the Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships in Everett, Washington, along with Raisman, Smith, three-time world all-around champion Simone Biles, and 2015 World Championships team member Brenna Dowell. She contributed an all-around score of 59.800 toward the American team’s first-place finish and placed third individually, behind Biles and Raisman, but did not earn the all-around bronze medal because of a rule limiting medals to two gymnasts per country. (Japan’s Nagi Kajita took the bronze instead.) Hernandez also qualified to the balance beam finals, but USA Gymnastics announced that she and Biles would not compete in the event finals in order to rest them before the Olympics.[8]

In June, Hernandez competed at the U.S. Classic[9] on bars only, scoring 15.400.[10] Later that month, she competed all four events at the National Championships. At the end of night one, she was tied for second place in the all-around with Raisman, behind Biles, with a score of 60.450. On night two, she scored 14.800 on vault, 15.150 on uneven bars, 15.300 on balance beam, and 14.800 on floor exercise. She finished the two-day competition in third all-around, behind Biles and Raisman. She placed third on uneven bars and balance beam, and tied for third on floor exercise with MyKayla Skinner.

At the Olympic Trials in early July, Hernandez placed second in the all-around, behind Biles. She was named to the Olympic team alongside Biles, Douglas, Raisman, and Madison Kocian.[11] Read more at