1996 Gold Medalist Dominique Moceanu can relate to Sarah Finnegan

6:18 PM, Jul 1, 2012   |    comments
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San Jose, CA (KSDK)--Right now the best female gymnasts in the country are warming up for the final day of the Olympic Trials. Dana Dean spoke with one former Olympian about how she relates to St Louisan Sarah Finnegan.

St Louisan Sarah Finnegan is the youngest of the gymnasts trying out for the Olympic team. Imagine the kind of pressure a 15-year-old must be feeling. Someone who can relate is 1996 gold medalist Dominique Moceanu.

"Every Olympic Games, I probably do have a special place in my heart for the youngest because I know what that position is like," she said.

Moceanu went on to say, "In 1996, the rules were different, you had to be 14 turning 15. I was the last one to sneak in under the 14 age limit rule."

"Sarah Finnegan is an 'all-arounder' with exceptional talent and strength to add to the team in balance beam and floor exercise," she said.

"When you're younger, there's that energy, that enthusiasm. There's so much you can offer the team."

"You always feel the pressure, regardless, but because of your youth, you haven't gone through it yet. So, it's like the first time through it all and you're learning as you're going."

"But then there's sometimes where these fluke things happen, I mean, uncharacteristic mistakes happen when you're so nervous."

She said, "Don't ever overlook the youngest on the team, that's for sure."

And we find out if Finnegan makes the team around 10 pm CT.

Moceanu has a memoir out called 'Off Balance' and it reveals the dark side of gymnastics.

Moceanu says she doesn't dispense advice to gymnasts unless they ask for it, but she would encourage them and say to never let this moment define you, whether you make the Olympic team or not.

KSDK

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