This year, we’re celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month with Future Hispanic History Month highlighting a variety of rising stars who are creating history before our very eyes.
At a time when some may have found it difficult to be truly proud of our country, the people needed a figure (or five) to lift them up. During the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, that beacon belonged to the U.S. female gymnastics team—lovingly known as the Final Five—and they were anchored by their youngest, history-making member Laurie Hernandez.
The 16-year-old earned the silver medal in the balance beam competition, a huge accomplishment. But the young woman earned a special place in the record books when she and teammates Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, and Madison Kocian won the gold medal in the Team All Around, which made Hernandez the first athlete born in the 21st century to go gold.
It goes without saying that this type of accomplishment requires dedication, discipline and the right winning attitude. America is currently getting further insight into the Old Bridge, N.J. native's work ethic thanks to her competing on Dancing with the Stars. Upon meeting her professional dance partner in the season premiere, Hernandez came right out with her competitive spirit, telling Val Chmerkovskiy, "So, like, we're going to win this thing, right?"
And based on their cha-cha earning them the top score of the night after their first—first!—performance ever together, that competitive spirit is going to take Laurie even further.