LATINO VOICES
03/06/2017 04:54 pm ET Updated Mar 06, 2017

Laurie Hernandez Wants To Be The Latina Role Model She Never Had

“I feel like it's a big responsibility to represent my heritage ...at the Olympics."

Laurie Hernandez knows that her accomplishments could inspire young Latinas hoping for Olympic greatness. 

The 16-year-old gymnast, gold medalist, best-selling author and “Dancing With The Stars” winner is one the many subjects of MTV and the Association of National Advertisers’ #SeeHer campaign.

In her video for the campaign, Hernandez noted she didn’t have U.S. Latina gymnasts at the Olympics to look up to when she was growing up. 

“I feel like it’s a big responsibility to represent my heritage and the United States at the Olympics, growing up I didn’t see too many Hispanics and I was really excited to be a role model for not just my generation but generations ahead,” Hernandez says in the video. “It means the world to me to be the second [U.S.-born] Latina to be a part of the women’s gymnastics team.”

The boricua gymnast talked about having “Latinas kind of rise in the Olympics” in an August 2016 interview with the Huffington Post. 

“Growing up, I feel there [weren’t] too many Hispanics and Latinas to look up to. I didn’t recognize anyone too much when I was younger and say ‘this person inspired me like crazy,’” she told HuffPost. “I feel that now that I’m able to win a gold medal at the Olympics, win a silver medal, I feel little girls will be able to look up to me, and Hispanics will kind of rise a little more.”

The #SeeHer initiative, which is highlighting women’s accomplishments in one-minute videos in honor of Women’s History Month, will also spotlight Rihanna, Gina Rodriguez, fashion designer Lucy Jones, author Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, and and student Keiana Cave. 

Watch Hernandez’s vide above. 

HuffPost

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