Top facts to know about USA Gymnastics’ Hezly Rivera as she faces U.S. Olympic Team Trials

Top facts to know about USA Gymnastics’ Hezly Rivera as she faces U.S. Olympic Team Trials

Gymnastics chose Rivera

Rivera’s origin story in the sport proves that sometimes the stars just align: at five years old she attended a friend’s birthday party that was held at a gymnastics facility where she stood out so much that her parents were approached by the staff. They suggested that Rivera try out for the team, and now the rest is history.

Today (11 years later), she trains at WOGA Gymnastics in the Dallas, Texas area and is coached by Valeri and Anna Liukin – parents and coaches of Beijing 2008 all-around champion Nastia Liukin.

Rivera trained with the best of the best

Rivera was born just months before her current coaches’ daughter, Nastia, stood on top of the world with the Olympic all-around gold medal around her neck. Then, four years later, Gabby Douglas stood in the same place with the London 2012 gold around her neck. Douglas has now been training with Valeri Liukin at WOGA for nearly a year and a half, meaning Rivera is teammates with one of the United States’ gymnastics greats.

In an exclusive interview Rivera in 2023, she told Olympics.com “It’s amazing because I know I can definitely make it with all these people around me…I never would have thought I would be training with Nastia’s parents and especially with Gabby! It’s crazy because she gives me so many tips and such encouragement.

“It’s nice to have an older gymnast who has experienced all of it,” she continued of Douglas. “They know everything. It’s amazing.”

Rivera’s international debut

Just two years ago, Rivera made her international debut at the 2022 DTB Pokal Cup in Stuttgart, Germany, where she saw immediate success as the United States landed on top of the podium ahead of Italy and Australia, who took second and third, respectively.

Since then, she has competed on the international stage twice. In 2023, she was a part of the silver-medal American team at the Junior World Championships in Türkiye and earlier this year, she took the team bronze at the 2024 Jesolo Trophy in Italy. She also just missed the podium on the uneven bars to take fourth.

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