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U.S. Gymnast and Olympic Hopeful Leanne Wong Is In It For the Fun: "I'm Really Enjoying the Sport"

20-year-old Leanne Wong is keeping the door open for an Olympic run in 2024!
 

By Chris Phelan
Leanne Wong poses with her medal during a victory ceremony of the Women's All-Around Final

The competition has never been more fierce for the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team, as up-and-coming hopefuls, established stars, and living legends are attempting to be part of the squad that will compete in Paris.

While athletes like Gabby Douglas — who is attempting a comeback as she tries to return to the women's national team — draw the most attention, it's easy to overlook athletes who have been patiently waiting in the wings, biding their time and refusing to rush their journey toward Olympic gold. One such athlete is Leanne Wong, a determined college student balancing school, a side hustle, and practice. 

Keep reading to learn more about the Olympic hopeful.

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Who is Leanne Wong?

The 20-year-old Kansas native is one member of the women's national team who is flying under the radar. Still, she's collected countless medals in the past few years, making her one of the odds-on favorites to land a spot on the coveted squad that will compete in the Paris Games. She's particularly fond of collecting hardware during the annual World Championships — Leanne was a member of the team to win gold in the 2022 and 2023 events, and she memorably earned a silver medal in the all-around event and a bronze in the floor exercise during one particularly fruitful 2021 World Championships. 

Not bad for someone who is currently attending college classes at the University of Florida, huh?

The pre-med major, who has been doing gymnastics since she was 5 years old, came oh-so-close to competing in the 2020 Summer Olympics but had to settle with being an alternate.

How Leanne Wong Does It All

Leanne Wong during her balance beam routine during a meet against the LSU Tigers

Leanne is one of those exceptional athletes who juggles — with ease, mind you — her studies, training, and business simultaneously, making her a well-rounded athlete. Her business, Leanne Wong Bowtique, produces custom-made gymnastics wear and operates out of her dorm room. The Bowtique has been in business since December 2021, and by all accounts, business is booming — Leanne and her mother (who helps run operations) have sold over 10,000 custom bows since inception.

Speaking to the Associated Press in the summer of 2023, Leanne revealed the secret to her hustle is all about keeping her priorities straight. Don't worry; the Florida Gator isn't letting her schooling fall by the wayside. 

"Of course, I have to prioritize school and gymnastics first because I'm going to the University of Florida, and I'm a pre-med track, so I have a lot of school to do," she admitted. "And training for both college gymnastics and elite gymnastics is a lot, but I like to say that my bow business is like my free time, my down time, something I just enjoy doing."

The cherry on top of Leanne's hectic schedule is that she still finds time to participate in philanthropic efforts. In the fall of 2023, she volunteered with the Southwest Advocacy Group, sharing a photo of herself enjoying an "afternoon filled with laughter, learning, and positive vibes!"

RELATED: Who Is Jordan Chiles? Everything To Know about the Star U.S. Gymnast

Leanne Wong's Mindset Ahead of the Olympics

Somewhat surprisingly, Leanne enjoys her nonstop schedule, and all signs point to her being in a fantastic position to earn a spot on the five-person women's Olympic squad. In a recent interview with Olympics.com, Leanne talked about what it's like training for the Olympics, not with the national team but with her college coaches. She revealed that the key has been not to put too much pressure on herself. 

"I'm just really enjoying the sport and competing for fun and not putting too much pressure on myself," she confessed. "Right now, I feel like my coaches at Florida and I work really well together, so I'm just really enjoying this relationship."

With a few key competitions still on the horizon, the women's Olympic gymnastic roster is still up in the air, and making the final squad competing in the 2024 Summer Games isn't a guarantee for any athlete. 

But let's be honest, we're sure Leanne Wong can fit a trip to Paris into her busy schedule. 

To see how Team USA performs at the 2024 Olympics, tune in to Peacock and NBC beginning July 26.

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