Breakout Gymnastics Gold Medalist Suni Lee’s Journey to the Tokyo Olympics

Suni Lee
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The 18-year-old gymnast stepped in for Simone Biles and went on to clinch the gold medal for the United States in the individual all-around competition.

Suni Lee is named the all-around Olympic champion, and a doting family in St. Paul, Minnesota goes wild. The 18-year-old stepped in after Simone Biles dropped out to focus on her mental health.

It was a nail-biter, with Lee neck and neck with her Brazilian rival until the very end. Lee executed a perfect floor routine and won by less than 0.2 points.

Her friends and family back home went bananas when she clinched the gold medal. Lee even got a FaceTime call from her sister.

The road to the Olympics started long ago for Lee. She started gymnastics at 6 years old. Early on, she showed incredible skill. Old videos show her on the balance beam and uneven bars.

Today, her uneven bar routine is thought to be the hardest in the world.

An inspirational figure in her life has been her father John, an immigrant from Laos who is a bit of a gymnast himself. Videos show the daughter-dad duo doing back flips on the beach and performing a synchronized flip into the pool.

Lee’s career could have been diverted in 2019 when her dad was paralyzed after falling off a ladder while helping a neighbor trim a tree.

He was still in a wheelchair, up front and center, when he cheered his daughter's victory.

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