Updated: June 04, 2021 11:31 PM
Created: June 04, 2021 09:30 PM
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Rochester's rich sports history continues, our community can claim yet another national champion.
In April we first met state champion, Kieryn Finnell. Well, last month the 13-year-old added national champion to her young, and impressive, resume.
"It makes me very proud of myself in what I've done," Kieryn said.
And Kieryn should be proud, last month she won a national championship in gymnastics! One of the keys to her all-around win was a first-place finish in the floor exercise.
"When you put new things in a routine you're always going to be nervous,” Kieryn said, “but I've gotten so used to it that you have to just go for it."
And she went for it right from the start!
"My first pass is a full-in so you do a full and when you're still in the air you do a backflip, that's the most challenging thing I have in my routine, but it's an extra point," Kieryn said.
And in a sport where scores are calculated down to the 1-thousandth of a point, a full point is a big deal.
"I was really happy and excited for myself and was really happy I nailed it!" Kieryn said.
This championship has been years in the making, Kieryn practices more than 30 hours a week at the Rochester Gymnastics Academy.
"I've been here my whole life, so I've been here a lot, they sort of made me who I am now and I'm really thankful for that," Kieryn said.
And she doesn't want to stop with this national championship, Kieryn has her eyes set on a future run at the Olympics.
"It would feel really amazing to wear Team USA across my chest and I would feel very proud wearing it," Kieryn said.
After winning the national championship Kieryn was invited to attend the US National Development Camp. Kieryn has a little bit of time on her side when it comes to the Olympics, she's only 13 years old, but when the Olympics roll back around for the Paris summer games in 2024 she'll be 16, and that's often a prime age for women's Olympic gymnasts.
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