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Gymnast Laurie Hernandez is prepping for the 2020 Olympics: 'My body's been in hibernation'

Elena Sheppard
Wellness Editor

Gymnast Laurie Hernandez has been incredibly busy since winning gold and silver medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics. In the span of two years, she’s won Dancing With the Stars, published a memoir (she also has a children’s book coming out this fall), and designed a tween clothing collection, ob.sess, for JCPenney. Now, as the 17-year-old gets ready to graduate from high school, she is also revving up her gymnastics training in preparation to qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

“I’ve taken about two years off of gymnastics,” she said during a BUILD interview on Thursday. “Seeing that we’re two years away from the next Olympics, that’s something that makes my heart race a little bit — I miss it a lot. I’ve started basic training and I’m hoping to be competing by 2019.”

Laurie Hernandez. (Photo: BUILD)

But what does basic training even mean if you’re an Olympian with a gold medal as a member of Team USA and a silver medal for the balance beam?

“Basic training, for me, it’s going to a regular gym as much as I can and doing  workouts that I would usually do at a gymnastics facility,” Hernandez told the BUILD audience. “And when I’m home, then I’m going to a gymnastics facility and doing basics such as kicks and front flips and back flips and stuff. Basically anything to warm my body up. I feel like my body’s been in hibernation for two years.”

At 16, Hernandez was the youngest member of the “Final Five” in Rio, but her Olympics experience in Tokyo, as a seasoned member of the team, would certainly be a different. “I’m excited to be out there,” Hernandez said. Team USA supporters will certainly be excited to see the champion gymnast back out there too.

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