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Olympic Gymnastics Gold Medalist Laurie Hernandez to Speak at UCO

U.S. gymanst Laurie Hernandez smiles, standing with her Olympic gold and silver medals around her neck.Oct. 30, 2017

Media Contact: Adrienne Nobles, Assistant Vice President, UCO University Communications, 405-974-2103,

Olympic Gymnastics Gold Medalist Laurie Hernandez to Speak at UCO

Strength, determination and an unforgettable smile – these are the tools Laurie Hernandez used to earn a spot on the 2016 U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Olympic team and win gold and silver at the Rio games. Hernandez will talk about her Olympic journey and tactics for success at 7 p.m. Nov. 14 in Constitution Hall in the Nigh University Center (NUC) as a part of the University of Central Oklahoma Student Association’s (UCOSA) speaker series.

Nicknamed the “human emoji” for her outgoing facial expressions, Hernandez is known for dazzling floor exercise routine and her grace and artistry on the balance beam. Those skills helped the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team win the team gold medal and earned Hernandez a silver on the beam at the 2016 Olympics. She is the first U.S.-born Latina to make the team since 1984.

After the Olympics, Hernandez applied her work ethic to the dance floor, winning the mirror ball trophy on season 23 of “Dancing with the Stars.” Her first book titled “I Got This: To Gold and Beyond” chronicling her journey thus far was published in January 2017, hitting the New York Times Best Sellers list.

"I believe that the opportunity to hear from Laurie Hernandez will give our students an opportunity to see a fantastic example of leadership at a young age. She is a symbol of success for Team USA, and shows how you can accomplish your goals if you set your mind to it no matter your age," said Stockton Duvall, UCOSA president.

At UCO, Hernandez will give a short talk, and then take part in a 45-minute Q and A session. Following the event, there will be a meet-and-greet with Hernandez.

The event is free and open to the public. UCOSA will provide 175 student-only tickets in their office in NUC Room 148, available for pickup while they last between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Tickets for the rest of the available seats can be reserved online at Tickets can be picked up in advance at the Mitchell Hall box office or at their booth onsite before the event.    

To request disability-related accommodations for the event, contact UCO Disability Support Services at 405-974-2516 or, at least one week prior to the event.           

For more information about the event, contact the UCOSA at 405-974-2249 or


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Cutline: Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez will speak at the University of Central Oklahoma Nov. 14.