More than five months later, young Laurie Hernandez is still dishing out the confidence she brought to the Rio OIympic games.
The Puerto Rican star talked to TODAY about her new book, I Got This: To Gold and Beyond, explaining how surreal her life has become after the Games. "I don't think anyone could have prepared me for what was to come post-Olympics," she said. What Hernandez is referring to is a whole slew of opportunities that brought her to stardom, such as her success on this season of DWTS and her SING movie collaboration.
But as for her book, the 16-year-old explains that the title comes from an Olympic moment that nearly went viral. "So, basically, I was a little bit nervous before competing beam at the Olympics, and I had this nervous thing to just talk to myself, like 'You can do it, you can do it'. And right before I hopped up there, I said 'I got this'," she explained.
Of course, Hernandez's confidence wasn't always so strong. Prior to qualifying for the Olympics, the gymnast explains that she was extra nervous and overwhelmed by trials and competing in the Games. "Before Olympic trials, we went out to eat and I had a little breakdown because practice was really rough and my routines weren't coming the way I wanted them to," she explained. "And this poor waitress just kept bringing over piles and piles of tissues. And while we were leaving, my sister told my dad that she was going to save the tissues and give them to her when she make the team." Fast forward a bit to when Hernandez actually did make the team alongside Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, and Madison Kocian. While out to dinner to celebration her pre-Olympic success, Hernandez's sister followed through on her idea and handed Laurie a goodie bag of the tissues. "It was a really defining moment," Hernandez finished.
Through it all, Hernandez is trying to keep her young adult life as normal as possible."As soon as I find the time to come home, I definitely want to get my driver's license," she said. Shopping and dating, however, are taking the back seat for now, considering her crazy schedule.