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ICYMI, Hezly Rivera’s Heading To The Paris Olympics As The Youngest Gymnast On Team USA

Hezly Rivera from Oradell, New Jersey has been attracting a lot of attention recently for being incredibly talented. Not only is she a remarkable gymnast at the young age of 16, but she just became the youngest member to join gymnastic greats in Paris to represent Team USA at the 2024 Olympic Games. Not many earn a spot on an Olympic team before they get their driver’s license, but Rivera sure did.

Rivera’s an American artistic gymnast and former member of the silver medal-winning team at the 2023 Junior World Championships. Adding to her feats, Rivera was the 2023 Junior World silver medalist in the floor routine. Now, Rivera has been selected as a member of  the 2024 USA Olympic Artistic Gymnastics Team for the Paris Olympic Games.

In the past, Rivera has earned two first-place all-around finishes as a junior at national competitions. She took home the title at the 2023 U.S. Gymnastics Championships in San Jose, California, and at the 2023 Winter Cup. In 2024, she finished third in the all-around but won gold on the balance beam. Rivera trains at WOGA (World Olympics Gymnastics Academy) in Plano, Texas alongside many other Olympic gymnastic legends such as Madison Kocian, Hollie Vise, Ivana Hong, and more. Many can envision Rivera following in these women’s footsteps, especially given her success at a young age.

So what makes Rivera so legendary? Her bars and balance beam routines have earned her rave reviews despite only being a junior in high school. Rivera’s talent earned her a spot on Team USA alongside Simone Biles, Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles, and Jade Carey who were also formerly on the team for the 2021 Tokyo Games. In response to the Olympic trial results, Rivera said, “I’m so grateful for everything. I’ve made a lot of sacrifices to be here, so I’m so incredibly grateful forever. I could not be more happy. I’m ecstatic.”

Rivera described how she had to “think like a veteran” to give the trials her all to officially punch her ticket to her first Olympic Games. “I thought of it as every other meet. Just going out there and doing my thing, basically doing what I do in the gym,” she said. “I was just thinking it’s just me and my beam or just me and the bar. I try to calm myself down beforehand. I [was thinking] I’m like the underdog and there wasn’t so much pressure on me which was probably a good thing. I just went out there and did my thing.”

Fans are living for Hezly Rivera and many have taken to X, formerly known as Twitter, to voice their support for her.

Best of luck to Hezly Rivera at the 2024 Paris Olympics! 

Amanda is a sophomore Writing and Rhetoric major with a Creative Writing minor at James Madison University. Amanda is the current Entertainment & Culture Summer Intern at Her Campus Media, writing about all things pop culture! Amanda loves binge-watching reality TV, drinking iced lattes, cuddling cats, reading romance and thriller novels, and listening to music (Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers, Gracie Abrams, and Olivia Rodrigo mostly). Ultimately, Amanda wishes to pursue a career involving writing, reading, editing, or publishing.