10 minutes with: Lauren Hernandez


The future looks rosy for promising U.S. junior Laurie Hernandez, who trains with MG Elite in New Jersey. She placed 21st in the 2012 U.S. Championships, and finished second in the WOGA Classic in February this year. At the April 2013 U.S. National Team Training Camp, Laurie placed first in junior verification on all four apparatus, upgrading her third place finish from the March camp.

Laurie’s style is reminiscent of Alicia Sacramone and Catalina Ponor, but she is also very unique! Her skills are commanding, and her presence is unmistakable. What makes all of this even more special is the fact that she is only 12 years old!

Last November, Laurie was nominated for Inside Gymnastics magazine’s “On the Verge” poll, and in their most recent issue, they named her as one of the 50 Most Photogenic Gymnasts in the world!

 Laurie recently answered some questions for Full Twist, and I’m pleased to share them with you!

 Q: What is your favorite event or skill to compete?

  Laurie: My favorite event is floor, because I like to perform. And my new favorite skill is my double layout, because it feels like you are flying!


Q: When will your next competition be?

Laurie: I will be competing at American Classic in July, hoping to qualify to Championships. It’s right after a National Team Camp, so it will be a long week.


Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of gymnastics?

 Laurie: I like to paint my nails, and put crazy designs on them. And I like to go shopping. I buy cool looking pre-wrap and tape for in the gym.


Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment in the sport?

Laurie: Well, first it was qualifying International Elite, then it was qualifying to Championships last year. Now I feel really excited to be invited to National Team Camp every month (which I am sitting on the airplane coming home from right now)!


Q: Do you plan to upgrade any routines heading into this year’s national championships?

 Laurie: Yes! On vault, I will compete my Yurchenko double full. On bars I have added a stalder full before my reverse hect, a stalder hect, and an endo 1/2. On beam, I added a back handspring layout layout, and a switch 1/2. And on floor I am doing a double Arabian-sissone, and a piked full in. Plus I have a new floor routine!

Q: Is there any gymnast in particular whom you especially admire?

Laurie: So many…Shawn Johnson.


 Q: Do you have hopes to make the Rio 2016 Olympics?

Laurie: Yes definitely, that is my dream. But I have to take it one year at a time.


Thank you to Laurie for taking the time out to spend 10 minutes with Full Twist.

Interview by Anna Rose Johnson

Photo via: Heather Maynez

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