Olympic Gymnast Laurie Hernandez Shares Motivation Behind Marvel-Inspired Leotards
By Movieguide® Staff
Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez recently performed at the 2021 Winter Cup in a Marvel-inspired leotard.
Hernandez thanked Marvel for the inspiration for her gear.
“This is kinda lit @Marvel thanks for the inspo,” Hernandez said with pictures of herself donning leotards inspired by Black Panther, Scarlet Witch (from WANDAVISION), Captain Marvel, and Sam Wilson’s Captain America (from THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER.
— Laurie Hernandez (@LaurieHernandez) June 6, 2021
Hernandez said that she does not wear the Marvel-inspired leotards for herself but rather, to build up and encourage others.
“The thing that has just broken my heart open the most has been how many different kinds of people respond to Carol. That, it’s kind of exactly like seeing you (Tegan Nox) wrestle with the star, with why I chose to do the movie, so I was like ‘I want to work really hard to create a symbol that other people can take and wear and feel power in,’ that was it,” Hernandez explained. “It wasn’t about me, it was about her and that star and what this means.”
At the heart of Hernandez’s selflessness and encouragement to her teammates is her faith in God.
Ahead of the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, a 15-year-old Hernandez became the first American-born Hispanic gymnast to qualify for the Olympics in over 30 years. Hernandez would win the silver medal in balance beam and gold with the USA Gymnastics team.
Despite her groundbreaking achievements, Hernandez pointed people to God.
“With God all things are possible,” Hernandez posted to her Instagram in 2016.
At 16, Hernandez was the youngest member of “The Final Five” USA Women’s Olympics Gymnastics team.
While Hernandez confessed that she used to get nervous before an event, the then 16-year-old gymnast said she relied on prayer to give her peace.
“Usually, before I salute the judge I’m able to just grab the event and I pray on it and that really grounds me. For some reason, once I do that, I am able to think clearly and I’m able to calm down right before I compete,” Hernandez said in an interview in 2016.
“I feel that everyday God molds me into someone that he wants me to be. So if that means just, like talking to teammates and helping them out, or like every so often I’ll post a Bible verse on Twitter or Instagram,” she continued. “There was one that I posted recently and I’m thinking it’s my favorite verse. It’s Proverbs 31:25, ‘She is clothed with dignity and strength and she laughs without fear of the future.'”
More recently, Hernandez is facing an injury that forced her to withdraw from the U.S. Gymnastics Championships.
“Hey guys, was doing a dismount during meet warm ups and hyperextended my knee. unfortunately we had to pull out of day 1, but we’re still keeping an open mind about day 2 and playing it by ear. not the way i thought this would go, but thank you for all the love and support,” Hernandez posted to her Twitter.
hey guys, was doing a dismount during meet warm ups and hyperextended my knee. unfortunately we had to pull out of day 1, but we’re still keeping an open mind about day 2 and playing it by ear. not the way i thought this would go, but thank you for all the love and support. ♥️
— Laurie Hernandez (@LaurieHernandez) June 5, 2021
However, as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics approach—which will take place in 2021 due to COVID-19—Hernandez can still petition for a spot in the U.S. Olympic Trials in three weeks, according to NBC Sports.
The Summer Olympics are set to start on July 23.