Lauren Hernandez, nicknamed Laurie, is one of the members of USA Gymnastics Team’s Final Five together with the legendary Simone Biles. She won a gold medal in the recently-concluded Rio Olympics 2016 and as if that wasn’t enough, last Tuesday she was also hailed as the Dancing with the Star’s season 23 champion.

The 16-year-old won the mirrorball trophy with her pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy, making it his second DWTS win as a pro partner in the last four seasons.

“I just want to thank everyone for their support and riding along this crazy roller coaster of my life, and my goal is just to inspire others as I go on with my journey, and thanks for being there for me!” Laurie said following her victory announcement.

And of course, Laurie’s close friend and almost sister, Simone Biles, tweeted this to show support:

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Laurie is well known as one of the members of the Final Five, and as a professional in the world of gymnastics, that should give her an advantage on the show. But it didn’t. Laurie proved that despite being a gymnast, she had to work hard to learn ballroom dancing. She grew immensely in the show as a person and matured into a young lady.

Like Simone Biles, all of the members of the Final Five are very talented and also deserved the spotlight. Laurie got hers. Laurie’s gold and silver medal from the 2016 Olympics and her recent win on the TV show is a huge comeback for her. If we could recall, she had to take six months off two years ago after a series of injuries, including a fractured wrist, dislocated knee and torn patella ligament.

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She is a perfect example of motivation and perseverance, a real inspiration for our young gymnasts still trying to find their place in the sport. In gymnastics, safety should be first and foremost, but if an injury happened it shouldn’t stop our kids from standing up again and trying harder than before like what Laurie did, who just became a pro athlete in August 2016.

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