While many teens are spending their summers at camp or on vacation, Hezly Rivera is heading to Paris for the 2024 Summer Olympics. The young gymnast was named a member of the 2024 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Women’s Team alongside four Olympic veterans. Ahead of her debut later this summer, many fans are wondering about Hezly’s background, including where she’s from and more.

Who Is Hezly Rivera?

Hezly is a 16-year-old American artistic gymnast who has been on the national team since 2022. After two years of competing at the junior level, she became age-eligible for senior level competition in 2024 and made her debut at the 2024 Winter Cup, where she placed third in the all-around. Hezly later competed at the City of Jesolo Trophy in Italy and helped her team win bronze.

Hezly placed sixth in the all-around at the National Championships, which qualified her for the Olympic Trials from June 27 to June 30, 2024, in Minneapolis. There, she placed fifth in the all-around and made it onto Team USA ahead of the 2024 Summer Olympics.

Where Is Hezly Rivera From?

The young athlete was born on June 4, 2008, in Hackensack, New Jersey. She was raised in the nearby borough of Oradell, New Jersey, and began training in gymnastics at age 6. Hezly currently lives in Plano, Texas, with her family.

Who Is Hezly Rivera’s Family?

Hezly’s parents are Henry Rivera and Heidy Ruiz. Though the gymnast was born and raised in the U.S., her dad is originally from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, according to The Super Slice. Hezly is the first-ever Dominican athlete to be named on the U.S. Gymnastics Team.

Who Is Hezly Rivera? Gymnast on 2024 U.S. Olympic Team
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Henry graduated from the Stevens Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering in 2002, according to his LinkedIn. He has worked for Medidata Solutions for more than 19 years.

Henry celebrated his daughter qualifying for the Olympic Trials with a post on LinkedIn in early June 2024.

“This weekend my daughter Hezly Rivera (15 years old) competed in her first professional gymnastics championship competition in Fort Worth, TX, and came out with a 6th place finish in the ‘All Around.’ This earned her a spot in the USA Gymnastics Olympic Trials that will be held from June 27-30th,” he wrote. “Words cannot describe how proud I am of my now 16-year-old daughter (she turns 16 years old today June 4th). Her dreams of making an Olympic Team are still alive and I just wanted to update everyone that has supported her over the years via this media.”

Hezly also has a younger brother named Hanley.

Who Else Is on the 2024 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Women’s Team?

Hezly’s teammates heading to Paris are Simone Biles, Sunisa Lee, Jade Carey and Jordan Chiles. Simone gushed about Hezly in an interview with the Washington Post published on July 1, 2024.

“I mean, she can’t even drive,” the famous gymnast said. “Should we teach her how to drive before she gets to Paris? Jeez! She’s so young. She’s so cute. She’s so smart. She’s beautiful. We’re really proud of her for making this team, and we’re really excited to kind of show her the ropes. At least she doesn’t have to do it alone. She has four veterans that have been there before.”

When Do the 2024 Olympics Start?

The 2024 Summer Olympics kick off in Paris on July 26, 2024, and end on August 11, 2024. However, some competitions, including football, rugby sevens, archery and handball, begin on July 24 and 25, 2024.

Fans in the U.S. can watch Olympics events on NBC and Peacock, as well as coverage on USA Network, E!, CNBC and GOLF Channel.