Hernandez became an overnight sensation at the U.S. Olympics team trials with her thrilling performance in the all-around, including a floor routine which proved to be an instant classic.
And everyone cried! After finishing their final routines, all the potential competitors hugged each other weeping.
"Honestly I can not think of anyone who has separated themselves as much from the pack as Simone".
Simone Biles, 19, remains the favorite to win the all-around title despite a fall off the balance beam at the USA trials.
Zip off your track suit and honor these five extraordinary women, who have muscles in places I didn't know existed. She will do well.
It's official! The U.S.A. Gymnastics Olympic roster has been announced and the women who made the cut are: Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, and Madison Kocian.
We all know Douglas as the victor of the all-around title at the 2012 London Olympics.
"It's really special to have this support system", the Dallas, Texas, teen said. There's so many things that I want to go back and fix. "Team competition is always my favorite, because once you reach your goal, you guys can always cherish that moment together", she revealed". While there was temptation to change it - particularly as Douglas struggled to regain the form that made her a champion in London - she never did.
At just 16, the Old Bridge, New Jersey native is the youngest on the team. The other four members are chosen by the committee, which considers their performance at trials, their global competition experience, their consistency at meets and their ability to deliver strong performances. She's solid in all four events, making her a crucial member of this year's team-though she's still shocked by the fact that she made it. "I was 12 and that's a really young age".
A revelation four years ago, Douglas figured her bid for another shot at glory would be easy. "If Simone, who is number one, automatically named to the team, best gymnast in the world, still has to hear her name for the Olympics, I think that could summarize probably how we felt a little". She performs one of the most hard routines of any gymnast in the world.
In general, Douglas's trials and tribulations this year (she was fourth at nationals) underscores how hard it is to return to the Games as an all-around champion.
At 22, Raisman is the oldest member to make the cut, earning her the nickname of "Grandma Aly" with her teammates. She competed in the 2012 London games with Douglas and took home three medals: team gold, gold on floor exercise, and bronze on balance beam. Since then, the pint-size gold-winning gymnast has gone on to have a varied career outside of the sport: She's released a memoir, starred in a reality series, and even launched her own emoji.
The team will be joined in Rio by three alternates: Ashton Locklear, whose strengths are bars and beam; MyKayla Skinner, who's a powerful vaulter and tumbler; and Ragan Smith, who's also very strong on bars and beam and who is, as the NBC commentators noted many times this weekend, aggressively adorable.