NEW ORLEANS — This past weekend, LSU Gymnast, Sarah Finnegan led the Tigers to their third consecutive SEC title.
They’re only the fifth team to accomplish this in SEC history and first team to do it in LSU history.
Sarah’s story started off like many others– at the tender age of two, she began swimming and gymnastics. She wanted to be like her older sister, Hannah; whatever Hannah did, Sarah followed.
Hannah chose to devote her life to gymnastics, Sarah did the same.
After countless hours of training, studying, and perfecting her craft, Sarah grabbed the attention of coaches.
“Someone came up to my parents and they were like ‘hey, you know, Sarah has like, a real shot at making the Olympic team.'” Sarah told Twist. “And then the family had a talk. . . we decided to move.”‘
Sarah, her mother, and her sister moved to Kansas City to be closer to GAGE, an elite gymnastics club. Sarah’s father had to stay in St. Louis because of work.
“It was hard. We had to sacrifice.” Says Linnabelle, Sarah’s mother. “But we got stronger as a family. It was all worth it,.”
The commitment paid off, just a few years later, Sarah got the opportunity of a lifetime.
“I made the 2012 USA Olympic Team!”
She was an alternate at the 2012 Olympic Games and she couldn’t have been happier. “It was a dream come true. Even though I didn’t get to compete, I still had the experience of a lifetime.”
The years that followed were fairly good for the Finnegan family. That is, until 2016.
Sarah’s father was diagnosed with Acute Pancreatitis. He almost died.
“We were so scared. We didn’t know what to do. We just prayed and believed. [My dad] fought and got better. Now, he’s back like nothing happened!”
Both Sarah’s mom and dad made it to New Orleans to witness their daughter score a perfect ten on her floor routine. They also watched the LSU team make history, edging out The University of Florida for the SEC title.
“I don’t know what I would have done without my team or my family, They both mean so much to me!”