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Olympics Athlete to Watch: Laurie Hernandez

ATHLETE TO WATCH

While all eyes will be on Simone Biles as the United States looks to win its second consecutive women’s gymnastics team final at the Olympics, one of her teammates is looking to make an impression in her first Olympic Games. Sixteen-year-old Laurie Hernandez, the third-youngest eligible member of the United States’ national team, has the potential to have a successful Olympics of her own, even if she’s not in the limelight. At the U.S. Olympic Trials in early July, Hernandez finished second in the all-around with a two-day score of 121.150 and paced the field on the balance beam (32.200). She also finished third on the floor (30.000) and fourth on vault (30.300). A 2018 University of Florida commit from New Jersey, Hernandez is known for her powerful and energy-packed floor exercise routine.

THIS DATE IN OLYMPICS HISTORY

Aug. 9, 1936: When the United States won gold in the 4x100 meter relay at the Berlin Olympics, Jesse Owens punctuated his history-setting tear in the heart of Nazi-filled Germany. Over a week of competition, Owens won four gold medals, each in world-record fashion. The 22-year-old tied the world’s best mark in the 100-meter dash (10.3 seconds) before individually breaking records in the 200-meter dash (20.7 seconds) and long jump (8.06 meters) and running the opening leg of the U.S.’s world-record setting 4x100 relay (39.8 seconds).

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