Hailey Hernandez

Parents of Olympic Diver Hailey Hernandez of Southlake Will Cheer Her On From Florida

Like other Olympic families gathered in Orlando, Rick and Teresa Hernandez are rooting on their daughter Hailey from afar, unable to travel to Tokyo because of COVID-19.

Hailey, who just graduated Southlake Carroll High School and is a diver for Team USA, is scheduled to compete Friday at 1 a.m. Texas time.

"We're just overcome with emotions at the moment,” her father Rick said.

Hailey, 18, got a huge sendoff to Tokyo. All of Southlake, it seemed, turned out for a parade a few weeks ago.

"We were overwhelmed with the outpouring of support. That was really special to her,” Teresa Hernandez said. “She knows no matter what does happen tonight, or early tomorrow, no matter what happens, her town and her family and friends we're all proud of her."

Her parents say Hailey handles pressure quite well but acknowledge the stress is high, noting she's far away from home without her normal support system.

"I think Simone Biles really brought that out in the open, what these athletes are going through,” Rick Hernandez said. “You see them as amazing incredible athletes but there are struggles. And Hailey had those same struggles a couple years ago and you have to work through it and try to build confidence."

Now, they're as ready as they'll ever be for her big moment.

Tokyo Olympics-bound diver Hailey Hernandez received a proper sendoff Friday night. The Southlake community showed their support for the local 18-year-old star in the town square with a parade and party.

"As we get closer to the event now, it's kind of sinking in. Nerves are starting to brew,” her father said. “We know she's probably getting a little nervous. We just want her to do her thing."

Hailey plans to come home from Tokyo early next week and plans to begin her freshman year at the University of Texas in about three weeks.

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