Because she won before she performed her routine, many people had already heard of her, and they knew to watch for her. After she performed her routine, she became even more famous than she was, but her intial exposure and initial win made her a favorite and a household name.
Yes, Laurie Hernandez's win before her routine probably added to her fame and notoriety. However, she was famous before that. The U.S. Women's gymnastic's team as a whole and individually are famous across the globe for their unprecedented success. Their amazing skills, personality and looks have made them household names.
Yes, the wink that Laurie Hernandez did before her routine is in every picture of her and it is helping to make her famous. It does not make sense to believe that this wink is not now considered to be a part of her image. All of her pictures and gifs show this wink.
Regardless of whether they win a gold medal or suffer a heartbreaking defeat, the Olympic athletes are being watched by the entire world. When they have an inspirational personal story to go along with their athletic ability, they are more interesting to the public. Laurie Hernandez is a positive inspiration to others with her Olympic performance and has become a world-wide star as a result.