Athlete of the Week: Destiny Finley

WHITEHOUSE, OH (WTOL) - Destiny Finley started gymnastics at the age of six. Now, she's 14 and a freshman at Anthony Wayne High School.

"It's just like the love for the sport," Destiny said. "I love doing things that not many other people can do."

Since then, Destiny has been traveling and competing at various tournaments across the country. On average, she spends about 20 hours a week Exceleration Gymnastics Center.

It's this work ethic that gymnastics coach Kelli Kopp says sets her apart.

"Her drive. She loves the sport. She loves the drive. She loves flipping," Kopp said. "She's got springs for legs so things come easy for her and some things don't, so she loves it."

That drive was on full display back in the summer of 2016 when Destiny broke her leg in four places and had surgery on her elbow.

While it kept her from the gym, it didn't hold her back. She was even doing sit-ups the day she got her cast on.

Now, nearly two years later, her determination is paying off.

At regionals, Destiny beat out gymnasts from Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and Illinois to place first in the vault and third overall. This performance was good enough to qualify her to compete at nationals in New York next weekend.

"Yes, it is crazy because not that many gymnasts have been able to climb the levels as fast as I have," she said. "That just shows how much work I have put in."

An achievement not too many accomplish, let alone within two years of not one, but two major injuries.

"That's hard to do, really hard to do," Coach Kopp said. "To keep going after two good injuries, that's very hard to overcome."

Besides doing well at nationals, Destiny has hopes of one day competing at the collegiate level.