ESPN

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Olympic gold and silver medalist Laurie Hernandez has always celebrated her Puerto Rican heritage, even when growing up in the United States. The petite powerhouse, 16, had a whirlwind year where she not only dazzled at the Rio Olympics, but also went on to win the celebrity dance competition Dancing With The Stars.

With the holiday season in full swing, Hernandez found time to reconnect with family and share, along with her mom Wanda, some of the important traditions they maintain at Christmastime.

“Holiday traditions, it’s definitely the food, el baile, coming together and blending in the cultures,” explained Wanda Hernandez.

In a video interview with Hispana Global, Laurie Hernandez explained that her favorite family celebration dish is her mother’s flan.

Wanda Hernandez mentioned that she hasn’t done anything too intense to raise a champion, but instead focuses on making her daughter always feel supported, no matter what happens in gymnastics. “If we can do that, we’re on a great path.”

Laurie Hernandez went pro just before the Olympics started, then won team gold with the fellow members of the Final Five, as well as an individual silver in the balance beam event. She hasn’t yet decided if she plans to compete in 2017 or take a year off from gymnastics competition.

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