Sarah Finnegan said she "wouldn't change one single thing" about her time at LSU.
The LSU sweetheart and senior all arounder, Sarah Finnegan began this almost unimaginable journey into the world of gymnastics when she was just three years old. Her desire to be a gymnast stemmed from wanting to be just like her older sister, Hannah.
“I saw my older sister flipping around, and I just wanted to do everything she did," Finnegan said. "She has given me a path to follow and has been a big influence for me.”
Finnegan had a bit of a different journey than most child gymnasts as she had the opportunity to be a part of the 2012 United States Olympic team. Sarah traveled to London to serve as an alternate for the team known as the “Fierce 5.”
“It hurt a little, not making the Olympic team as that was the goal, but I am still an Olympian and no one can take that away from me," Finnegan said.
Following her Olympic career, Finnegan began looking at colleges at which she might want to compete. It came down to two schools, LSU and University of Oklahoma. This Missouri native says that the decision was difficult but when it was time to commit to a school her choice was clear.
“I made a pros and cons list, and honestly, OU had more pros, but I just felt like I was meant to go to LSU," Finnegan said. "It was a gut feeling that this is where I was meant to be.”
Four years later, Finnegan has taken LSU by storm, earning numerous accolades such as 2018 First-Team All-American, 2018 Honda Sports Woman of the Year Nominee, 2018 Central Region Gymnast of the Year and a diverse multitude of more.
As Sarah’s senior season is underway, she has not slowed down. With only 4 meets of her senior season under her belt, Sarah has been chosen as SEC gymnast of the week two times and has won multiple event titles, making her 11th on LSU’s all-time list. Sarah is one of the team's leaders and is known as a outstanding role model as a gymnast as well as a person.
While gymnastics has been Finnegan’s main focus for nearly all her life, she realizes that it will not last forever. The thrill of competing, the grind of practice, the joy of being with teammates turned best friends, the screams of Tiger Nation, and the adoration of hundreds of little girls who want a selfie with her, all will soon end.
She will no longer compete in the sport that has given her so much and that has allowed her to travel the world. Fully aware, she intends to make the most of her senior season and last time competing for her teammates and Tiger Nation.
Finnegan said gymnastics has helped her in every aspect of her life. She began doing elite gymnasts at a young age, forcing her to grow up and mature much faster than other kids.
This maturity extended into her academic career. While many students struggle in college, Finnegan has excelled. This success in the classroom is attributed to gymnastics, giving her focus, maturity and drive. Sarah is majoring in kinesiology and hopes to become an occupational therapist once she graduates.
As Sarah Finnegan’s career as a gymnast is coming to a close, she says that her memories at LSU will last a lifetime. Her favorite times competing have been in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
“Any meet in the PMAC is so much fun," Finnegan said. "I am going to miss the crowd and the energy. LSU fans are the best fans and they have so much pride and passion, I love it. We really fed off of that energy.“
Sarah Finnegan continues to leave her mark on LSU gymnastics every meet and will be remembered as one of the best gymnasts in LSU history. Her infectious personality and brilliant smile has caused her to be one of the most loved by the fans, who will miss her greatly.