BELGIUM — Filipino American gymnast Aleah Finnegan secured a spot in the 2024 Olympic Games via the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Belgium, making her the first Filipina to qualify for the Paris event.
The 20-year-old gymnast earned her ticket after placing 32nd in the all-around qualification, taking one of the 14 Olympic berths in women’s gymnastics.
“It is such a dream come true,” Finnegan said. “I’m just thankful for the Philippines for giving this opportunity to me that I would never have been able to take otherwise.”
Finnegan, 20, who was born in St. Louis, Missouri, first competed for the Philippines in the 2022 Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam, where she bagged gold in vault table and silver in the individual all-around category. She will be the first female gymnast from the Philippines to see action the Olympics since 1964.
She also bagged two bronze medals in the Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Singapore in June of the same year.
Before competing for the Philippines, Finnegan was part of the US women’s gymnastics team, where she bagged silver in the team all-around during the 2019 Pan-American Games.
She was a member of the United States’ women’s national gymnastics team from 2019–21 and was part of the team that won gold at the 2019 Pan American Games.
She will also be the first female gymnast to compete for the Philippines in the Olympics since 1964, after Evelyn Magluyan and Maria Luisa Floro participated in the Tokyo Olympics.
Finnegan will be joining fellow gymnast Carlos Yulo, Eumir Marcial and pole vaulter EJ Obiena in representing the country in the Paris Games next year.