By Anna Rose Johnson
A promising first-year senior from GAGE, the elegant Aleah Finnegan is one of the USA’s top up-and-comers! Aleah is the younger sister of LSU star Sarah Finnegan, who just closed out her NCAA career with countless accolades. In this interview, Aleah chats with us about the great advice she’s received from Sarah, her goals for 2019 and beyond, and so much more.
Inside: How is your training going currently?
Aleah: Great! I’m so excited for this upcoming season!!
Inside: Are you working on any upgrades?
Aleah: YES! Upgrades on all four events, including a new floor routine 😉
Inside: What is it like to grow up in a family of gymnasts?
Aleah: I think it helped me as a kid, being able to see that my hard work will pay off eventually and seeing all these cool new skills that I could learn at some point. It was stressful at times, being the little sister, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m so thankful for my family, because they are always there for me no matter what.
Inside: What is some of the best advice that your sister Sarah has given you?
Aleah: Sarah has always told me to never, ever give up and to be confident in myself. She knows more than anyone how hard gymnastics can be at times, but she has inspired me and pushed me to be my best and to always work hard.
Inside: What are you most looking forward to in NCAA gymnastics at LSU?
Aleah: I am so excited to join this incredible team. LSU is such an amazing school, and I’m definitely looking forward to being able to represent them.
Inside: What is your favorite competition memory?
Aleah: My favorite competition memory was competing at the U.S. GK Classic. It was my first real elite meet. I grew up watching Sarah compete at these types of meets, and to finally be there competing was a dream come true. It was also my first time competing on [a] podium! Definitely a competition I will never forget.
Inside: Which meets do you hope to compete in this year?
Aleah: I hope to compete in the Pan American Games, but I definitely will be at the U.S. GK Classic, and the U.S. Championships in my home town!
Inside: What are some of your major gymnastics goals, both for 2019 and long-term?
Aleah: Some of my major goals for this 2019 [season] are competing at the Pan American Games, hitting 4/4 and 8/8 at the GK Classic and at Championships, making the U.S. National Team, and being a Worlds candidate. For my long-term goals, the 2020 Olympics have been a dream of mine ever since I was a little girl, and my goals in college are to win the NCAA National Championships for LSU.
Inside: What is your favorite place to travel?
Aleah: I love traveling anywhere that has nice weather; my favorite places I’ve been to are Cancun, Los Angeles, and Paris!
Inside: What’s your favorite apparatus?
Aleah: My favorite event varies from day to day. I don’t necessarily have a favorite event, but if I had to choose, I would say floor because I just got a new floor routine!
Inside: What do you enjoy doing outside the gym?
Aleah: Outside the gym, I love hanging out with my friends and family and just being around other people, because I love socializing.
Inside: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Aleah: I have a dog named Lacy and she is the cutest little dog ever.
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Anna Rose Johnson writes about women’s artistic and rhythmic gymnastics. She loves Whippets, brownies, and full-twisting double layouts. Her writing portfolio can be viewed at: https://annarosejohnson.contently.com