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Olympic Gold Medalists Laurie Hernandez and Jordyn Wieber, along with world-class coach Desiree Sanchez, traveled to Spain and Italy to bring gymnastics to military youth.

When asked about her experience, Sanchez said: “Touring with Armed Forces Entertainment has been one of the most rewarding things I have done in my life. I’ve been pretty fortunate to be part of some cool experiences, but this is by far something that has changed my life. Every single person has influenced me in some way and Armed Forces Entertainment gave me a way to take what I love in my life, which is teaching kids and gymnastics and learning about families, and I get to share that, not only in my own little bubble of the world, but across the globe.”

“Doing these clinics for the military kids is so important because it gives them a connection to something that maybe they’ve never had a chance to do in their life. Or something that was maybe once part of their life and that they miss. It gives them a chance to see these Olympians that they’ve watched on TV, whether it be in the Olympic Games or, like Laurie, on Dancing with the Stars, and have a moment where they get to be star struck, when they get to give a hug to an Olympian or ask a question or have that moment that will stay with them.”

 

“Some of them leave other parts of their families in the states, some of these kids come to something totally new. And change is scary, you are in a new environment, in a new place, and it’s hard to adapt sometimes. I think to give these kids an opportunity to just run and have fun and learn and have that little star struck moment is something that they deserve, these families deserve, for everything that they sacrifice for us.”

 

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