2024 Paris Olympics

Plano's Hezly Rivera returns home a Team USA gymnast

Fans greeted the 16-year-old at DFW Airport

NBC Universal, Inc.

If you don't know her name yet, you will soon.

Hezly Rivera from Plano is headed to Paris with the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics team.

The Olympic squad's announcement Sunday night capped off a whirlwind weekend for the 16-year-old. On Monday night, she was greeted at DFW Airport by dozens of fans, many of whom train at her gym.

“Congratulations on making the Olympics. It's a really big deal,” said 10-year-old Nora Greenfield.

Rivera dazzled at the Olympic trials over the weekend.

She’ll join four Olympic veterans on their sports ultimate stage: Jordan Chiles, Jade Carey, Suni Lee, and Simone Biles.

“I could not be more happy. I’m ecstatic,” Rivera told NBC Sports.

But maybe as ecstatic is Rivera's father, Henry Rivera, whose reaction to his daughter making the team was as memorable as her routines.

“Overjoyed, proud dad, proud family. It’s just something that I can't even describe,” said Henry Rivera.

Born in New Jersey, Rivera’s family moved to Texas so she could train at WOGA Plano.

It’s a long way from when she was five years old and first tried gymnastics at a friend’s birthday party.

“I definitely wasn't expecting this. I was expecting to go home and pick up my bag, but I'm so happy that everyone is here to support me,” said Rivera after returning to DFW Airport.

She signed autographs and took pictures with fans who began chanting “U.S.A!”

“I’ve worked so hard to get here, just enjoying the journey and the process, and I'm so blessed, and I thank god every day,” said Rivera.

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