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Lauren Hernandez of the United States acts during women’s qualification match of floor exercise of Artistic Gymnastics at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Aug. 7, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By NAN Sports Editor

News Americas, RIO, Brazil, Tues. Aug. 9, 2016: They have both made their impact already this Olympics for Team USA and both top athletes roots’ run straight to the Caribbean region.

Team USA’s gymnast Laurie Hernandez is already playing a key role in leading the team closer to the dream of repeating the 2012 gold medal. On Sunday night, 5-foot Hernandez scored 14.800 in the all-around (third among U.S. women), 15.200 in the vault (third) and 15.366 on the balance beam (second).

But did you know this 16-year-old is of Puerto Rican descent? Hernandez is the daughter of Puerto Ricans Wanda and Anthony Hernandez and was born in Old Bridge Township, New Jersey.

Hernandez made her senior debut in 2016. At the Olympic Trials in early July, Hernandez placed second in the all-around, behind Simone Biles. She was named to the Olympic team alongside Biles, Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisma and Madison Kocian.

Also shining on the beam for Team USA is Cuba-born, naturalized U.S. citizen, Danell J. Leyva.

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Danell Leyva of the United States competes on the horizontal bar during the men’s team final on Day 3 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Rio Olympic Arena on August 8, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leyva, 24 was added as a member of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team on July 15, 2016, following the withdrawal of John Orozco due to an ACL injury.

On August 6, 2016 the men’s team qualified for the team final in second place. Leyva qualified individually for individual event finals in both Parallel Bars and Horizontal Bar.

Along with his 4 other teammates, they competed in the team final on August 8th. His performances were good, until he fell off the high bar, which led to his team finishing 5th once again. The Artistic Gymnastics Men’s Team Final was won by Japan.

Leyva’s stepfather and coach, Yin Alvarez and mother, Maria Gonzalez were both members of Cuba’s national gymnastics team. They defected to Miami when Leyva was a year old.

 

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