Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez to headline Common Experience Insight Series

Jayme Blaschke, Media Relations | October 19, 2020

woman holding olympic medals

U.S. Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez will headline Texas State University's Common Experience Insight Series with a YouTube Livestream at 6 p.m. Oct. 20.

The event is free and open to the public, although advance registration is required at www.txstate.edu/commonexperience/events/laurie-hernandez.html. 

The event will featuring a discussion and Q&A moderated by Texas State alumna DaLyah Jones, writer at The Texas Observer. The conversation will focus on Texas State's 2020-2021 Common Experience theme of Dynamics. Hernandez is among the authors featured in the university’s 2020-2021 Common Reading book, American Like Me, edited by actress America Ferrera.

At age 20, Hernandez will be the youngest speaker in the history of the Common Experience.

A an Olympic gymnast, Hernandez is known for her dazzling floor exercise routine, which earned her the nickname "human emoji" for her outgoing facial expressions, and for her grace and artistry on the balance beam. At the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Hernandez earned team gold and individual silver medals as part of the U.S. gymnastics team that also included Simone Biles, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas and Madison Kocian. That same year, she won the coveted Mirror Ball Trophy on Dancing with the Stars Season 23. Her first book, titled I Got This: To Gold and Beyond, was published in January 2017, hitting The New York Times bestsellers list. In October 2018, she released a children’s picture book, She’s Got This, which also made The New York Times bestsellers list. She also landed television several roles, co-hosting American Ninja Warrior Junior and starring in the series Middle School Moguls on Nickelodeon.

She is currently training for the 2021 Olympics, to be held in Tokyo.

For more information, contact Twister Marquiss, director of the Common Experience, at (512) 245-3579 or via email at twister@txstate.edu.

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922