Olympic gold medalist Laurie Hernandez visited Walt Disney World Resort on Sunday, May 14 and spent some time with Minnie Mouse during the D2 Summit Cheerleading Championship at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
While at Disney, the Olympic gymnast hosted the Varsity Brands School Spirit Awards at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa and visited the theme parks.
It was Hernandez’s first visit to Walt Disney World Resort since she helped the USA team win gold during the Olympic gymnastics team competition at the Summer Games in Brazil last year. Hernandez also claimed the silver medal on the balance beam.
Her Olympic performance helped land her a spot last season on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,’’ where she was paired with Valentin Chmerkovskiy. The pair claimed the Mirrorball Trophy, making Hernandez the show’s youngest winner at age 16.
Hernandez’s appearance at the D2 Summit Cheerleading Championship was quite a thrill for many of the 12,000 athletes who took part in the event, one of seven Varsity cheer and dance events hosted annually at the sports complex. Each year, more than 75,000 athletes compete in Varsity events at the sports complex.
Hernandez was not the only sports celebrity who visited Walt Disney World Resort in May, as tennis superstar Serena Williams also spent some time in the theme parks on May 9. The No. 2-ranked player in the world and reigning Australian Open champion enjoyed a sneak peak of Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, before it opens to the public May 27.