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After Laurie Hernandez nailed the routines that helped the U.S. women's gymnastics team grab Olympic gold in the team all-around competition, she emailed the news to her brother back home in New Jersey.
Marcus Hernandez had planned to watch a tape-delayed broadcast of the competition, but he didn’t mind having the surprise spoiled for him. And in response, he penned a touchingInstagram tribute.
“It's blowing my mind how the same little girl I used to see doing flips on my bed at age 6 now has a gold medal,” he wrote.
“I have seen you deal with so much adversity with the sport over the last several years and to finally see your hard work culminate makes it all worth it.”
Marcus also said he “can’t wait to see you kill it Monday as well” during her individual competition. And then he promised to celebrate Laurie's victory with a trip to the convenience store of champions.
“As soon as you land we’re going straight to Wawa,” he said.
The youngest member of the “Final Five” team, Laurie Hernandez is winning more than gold in Rio — she’s winning hearts.
Her animated facial expressions have already landed her the nickname, “The Human Emoji,” but her performances on the Olympic stage also have demonstrated her sass and spunk. Right before she took to her floor competition Tuesday, Hernandez winked at the judges — and the social media world went wild.
Fans also clung to the way Hernandez told herself, "I got this," before hopping onto the balance beam and killing her routine.
Regardless of what happens during the rest of her events in Rio, Hernandez has secured a golden spot in the hearts of Olympic fans.