This is Laurie Hernandez.

And she is my queen.

She is our queen.


Laurie is representing Team USA in gymnastics, alongside the rest of the #FinalFive in Rio.


Her specialties include the beam and the floor routine, as well as being the queen of confidence.

Look at her self-reassurance before hitting the beam, saying "I got this!"

And look at it again from another angle.


If that does not put a smile on your face, I do not know what will. If that does not fill you with joy, I do not know what will... Except for maybe Exhibit B: her everyday dance moves?

And if you still do not think she is our queen, I show you Exhibit C, the wink:

Laurie winked in front of the judges right before she totally nailed her floor routine.

Queen.

Maybe I am just partial to Laurie since not only is she a New Jersey native like me (yay!) but she is also a Monmouth County native like me!

And to top it all off, her gymnastics club (Monmouth Gymnastics Academy) is right in my hometown! I found this out about a month ago when I was headed to my local gym, Retro Fitness, and I passed through the industrial complex it is located in and saw huge posters with Laurie’s face on it, congratulating her on making the Olympic Team. That is when I realized that that was where Laurie started her training and continued to perfect the art of gymnastics. I was completely floored by this (excuse the terrible gymnastics pun).

So, maybe I do have some Monmouth County pride when I see Laurie on my television screen, representing the country. But more importantly, it goes further than pride. I think about how incredible it is that someone who got their start in the town I live can make it all the way to the Olympics, getting press coverage and serving as a role model for practically all of America at the moment.

It makes me think that anything is possible, no matter where you come from. It gives me hope to accomplish anything I want, without any boundaries or limits.

And then, it reminds me that this is ultimately the purpose of the Olympics. To inspire and create.

So yes, Laurie Hernandez is my queen. If she can inspire me, as well as others, she is our queen.

Better yet, she is the queen, along with many, many others in Rio this Summer.