Ana Irene Palacios begins the Olympic cycle at the 2022 Pan-American Championships


By Jeff Spaur

Ana Irene Palacios practicing in the Beyer Hall Gymnasium.

Andrea Maldonado

Iowa State gymnast Ana Irene Palacios is set to compete in the 2022 Pan-American Championships in Brazil.

All the way from Guatemala City, Palacios transferred to Iowa State to continue her gymnastics career as a college gymnast. Palacios had been a part of the National team of Guatemala since 2015, but it was time for a change of pace. 

Palacios had been out of the international stage for around a year before she joined the Iowa State gymnastics team. However, the ISU gymnastics program allows and embraces international participation; therefore, Palacios is on her way to beginning the 2024 Olympic cycle alongside her collegiate career. 

Due to the global pandemic, the international athletic calendar was altered, and the Olympic Games were postponed along with all the qualifying events for Paris 2024. Now the countdown stands at two years, and the entire world is working to qualify for the next Olympic Games. 

The Pan-American Championships will take place in Brazil, beginning July 14 and ending July 17. Palacios will face this championship hoping to qualify for the World Championships in Liverpool, England, which will take place in October. 

Another spot Palacios could fight for would be a qualification to the 2023 Central American Games. This competition is usually the ice breaker for the Olympic cycle, but given all the international adjustments in the past two years, this competition now stands as a closer preparation for Paris 2024. 

Ever since Palacios joined the National team of Guatemala, she was always a strong asset, even in her debut on vault for the ISU gymnastics team. She has always been strong and ready to perform. 

As Palacios goes into this competition, she can show how her gymnastics blooms and her confidence grows on both international and collegiate stages. 

Palacios will represent her home country in the Pan-American Championships 2022, starting July 14 in Brazil.