Olympic medal-winning gymnast to visit ECU through Voyages Series

Laurie Hernandez, U.S. Olympic medal-winning gymnast, will visit ECU on Jan. 18 to discuss body positivity and resilence. (Photos courtesy of Keppler Speakers)

East Carolina University’s Voyages of Discovery Series will host a public event, “I’ve Got This,” featuring Laurie Hernandez, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, in the Main Campus Student Center ballrooms.

Hernandez is a U.S. Olympic gold and silver medal-winning gymnast and an advocate for body positivity, resilience, teamwork and navigating high-pressure situations.

Hers is the final event in the 2023-2024 Voyages Series, led by the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. Tickets are $20 for the public, and free for ECU faculty, staff and students with a valid ECU 1 Card.

Hernandez won gold and silver medals at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. In 2017, she wrote her first book, “I Got This: To Gold and Beyond,” which made the New York Times Best Sellers list. In 2018, while serving as a literacy champion to promote readership as a path to leadership, she released a children’s picture book, “She’s Got This,” also a New York Times Best Seller. Later, Mattel created a “Shero: Laurie Hernandez” Barbie® Doll in her honor.

As a second-generation American (her grandparents are from Puerto Rico), Hernandez is the first U.S.-born Latina to make the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team since 1984. She travels the country speaking to the next generation about following dreams and the importance of mental health, for which she is a fierce advocate. She has partnered with multiple campaigns and initiatives to encourage mental health awareness.

In her free time, Hernandez enjoys spending time with her family. Acting is one of her passions and she has had cameos and voiceovers, co-hosted “American Ninja Warrior Junior” and won the coveted Mirror Ball trophy on season 23 of “Dancing with the Stars.”

This event is co-hosted by Harvey S. Wooten, ECU’s Honors College and Youngs Physical Therapy and Sports Performance. The series is made possible through contributions from the Harriot College’s Dean’s Advancement Council, university organizations, and many other community and corporate friends and supporters. For additional information about the Voyages series, visit the Voyages website.