Oradell Gymnast Who At 9 Said Her Dream Was Landing Spot On Olympic Team Just Made It Happen

Hezly Rivera sure stuck the landing on that one.

Hezly Rivera seen left with Craig Zappa, her then-coach at ENA in Paramus. 

Hezly Rivera seen left with Craig Zappa, her then-coach at ENA in Paramus. 

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Craig Zappa (left)/Courtesy of Hezly Rivera @hezlyrivera Instagram

The 16-year-old Bergen County native who at 9 said she dreamed of making a spot on the USA gymnastics team did just that.

She's headed to the Paris Olympics.

Hezly, whose family moved from  Oradell to Plano, TX, finished fifth in the all-around competition at the Olympic trial last week.

Her final score of 111.15 put her on Team USA alongside vets Simone Biles, Jade Carey, Suni Lee, and Jordan Chiles.

Rivera was just 9 years old when she told Daily Voice in 2018:

"I want to make the national team and go to the Olympics. I put my best in everything I do and I'm confident and what I'm going to do."

Hezly was 8 when she dropped out of public school and started homeschooling in order to focus on her gymnastics career. 

She trained at ENA in Paramus alongside Livvy Dunne, who gave her former teammate a shoutout on Instagram after she made Team USA.

Hezly's then-coach, Craig Zappa, said he believed Hezly was the best 9-year-old in the country.

Just after Hezly made the Olympic squad, Zappa said:

"We are so proud of Hezly’s hard work and dedication. We knew from the moment we saw her that there was something special about her. She proved us right."

The Paris Olympics begin July 26.

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