Coming to Meet Me in St. Louis 2014
Sarah Finnegan is an international elite gymnast and a National Team Member coached by Al Fong and Armine Barutyan-Fong at Great American Gymnastic Express (GAGE) located in Blue Springs, Missouri. We are proud to say that Sarah is also a former St.Louis Gym Centre (SLGC) gymnast who practiced and competed with many of the gymnasts attending Meet Me in St. Louis 2013! Sarah had quite the 2012 with outstanding competitions at the City of Jesolo Trophy, U.S. Secret Classic and Visa National Championships. She was one of only 15 athletes chosen to compete at the Olympic Trials in San Jose where she finished 6th in the all-around competition and was named as one of the three alternates on the 2012 Women’s Gymnastics Olympic Team.
Sarah began her gymnastics career in St. Louis at the age of 4, attending Team Central Gymnastics Academy first and then SLGC. At SLGC, Sarah continued to flourish. She impressed everyone with her talent and rock solid ability to compete. At Level 8, she became a member of the Missouri Regional Super Team after an outstanding state competition. During the summer of 2008, Sarah moved to GAGE to pursue her dream of becoming an elite gymnast.
2010 was a break out year for Sarah as she moved from the J.O. Level 10 National Championships to successfully competing at an elite qualifier meet within one month. At her very first Visa Championships, she was crowned the Junior National Floor Champion and was named to the U.S. Junior National Team. That same year, she was given her first international assignment to attend the Pan American Championships which were held in Guadalajara, Mexico. She helped the United States to win a team gold medal and she placed 3rd on balance beam during event finals.
In 2012, Sarah became age-eligible to move to the senior international elite division. In her second international assignment, at the City of Jesolo Trophy in Italy, she had another impressive outing and helped bring home a gold medal for the U.S. team. She placed 3rd in the all-around competition behind her teammates Aly Raisman and Kyla Ross. Several months later, her performances at the U.S. Secret Classic and the Visa Championships wowed the gymnastics world and included stellar performances on balance beam and floor. She moved on to the U.S. Olympic Trials in San Jose and despite being the youngest competitor, she earned her spot as one of the three replacement athletes named to the 2012 Women’s Gymnastics Olympic Team.
Sarah is known for her exquisite lines and artistry which she maintains while executing extremely difficult acrobatic skills. She performs one of the most difficult beam routines in the world with a technical difficulty value of 6.9. Bela Karolyi described Sarah following the U.S. Olympic Trials as “so beautiful, so elegant.” Those who know her can attest that she learns quickly and is fearless. She has said that she likes to try new skills and her plan is to “just go up there and flip and twist and see what you come up with.”
Sarah is part of a talented and dedicated family. Her older sister, Hannah, is a level 10 gymnast at GAGE, and has competed for the Philippines at the 2011 Southeast Asian Games. Her sister, Jennah, competed through level 8 at GAGE and more recently became a triathlon champion at the age of 10. Her youngest sister, Aleah, also trains at GAGE and was the 2012 Level 7 Missouri state all-around champion. Despite the incredibly busy schedule of the Finnegan family, they are committed to performing charity and mission work. They have visited poor families of the Philippines, Mexico and Indonesia to distribute school supplies and groceries, to visit orphanages, and to help build homes for families. Sarah and her family see gymnastics as a means to glorify God. Their faith has guided them through their journeys and their motto “To God Be the Glory” is written on their banners and shirts and spoken about during their interviews.
Sarah will be one of our Celebrity Guests at Meet Me in St. Louis 2014, appearing both Saturday evening and Sunday morning and afternoon to meet gymnasts and family members. She will be available to answer questions, sign autographs and pose for pictures.
- 2008 Level 8 Missouri Super Team Member
- 2009 Level 9 Region IV Championships – Regional AA Champion, 1st Vault, 1st Beam, 1st Floor,
- 2009 Level 9 Western Championships – 2nd AA, 3rd Vault, 3rd Floor
- 2010 Level 10 Region IV Championships – 2nd AA, 1st Beam, 2nd Bars, 3rd Vault
- 2010 Level 10 National Championships – 8th AA, 2nd Beam
- 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials – 6th AA, 5th Beam, 6th Bars, 6th Floor,
- 2012 Visa Championships – 6th AA, 2nd Beam, 4th Floor,
- 2012 Secret U. S. Classic – 2nd Floor, 3rd Beam
- 2011 Visa Championships – 3rd AA, 3rd Beam, 5th Bars (Jr. division)
- 2011 CoverGirl Classic – 4th AA, 1st Floor, 3rd Bars, 7th Beam (Jr. division)
- 2010 Visa Championships – Jr. National Champion Floor, 6th AA, 4th Beam (Jr. Division)
- 2012 U.S. Olympic Team replacement athlete
- 2012 City of Jesolo Trophy – 1st Team; 3rd AA, 3rd Floor
- 2010 Pan American Championships; 1st Team; 3rd Beam