Suni Lee, first Hmong American Olympic gymnast, takes home gold medal in individual all-around event

Suni Lee, first Hmong American Olympic gymnast, takes home gold medal in individual all-around event
Grace Kim
July 29, 2021
Suni Lee won gold at the gymnastics all-around event on Thursday, becoming the first Asian American woman to earn the title.
Taking home the gold: The 18-year-old gymnast climbed her way to the top spot with a final score of 57.433 after starting out the first round in fourth place. 
  • By the final round, Lee placed ahead of Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade who scored 57.298 and Angelina Melnikova of the Russian Olympic Committee with 57.199.
  • She also became the fifth consecutive American woman to take the gold and sixth overall, according to USA Today.
  • Lee is also taking home a silver medal from the team event on Tuesday. 
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More details: Lee made history when she became the first Hmong American to make the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team. 
  • During the trials, Lee was also the first gymnast to defeat world gymnastics star Simone Biles in any phase since 2013, NextShark previously reported. 
  • Lee’s father, John, one of her biggest supporters, was involved in an accident that left him paralyzed only days before the 2019 National Championships. He encouraged her to move forward and she went on to place second behind Biles at the event.
  • For the all-around competition on Thursday, Biles was highly anticipated to secure the top position until she withdrew from the event due to mental health reasons.
  • Biles and the rest of her teammates cheered on from the sidelines, while her family watched from home in Minnesota as Lee made her way around the routines. 
  • A video circulating on Twitter appears to have captured her family’s reaction to the win.
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Afterwards: Lee herself appeared stunned by her outstanding performance, telling Today, “Like it doesn’t even feel like real life. I’m going to be like, ‘Oh my gosh am I an Olympic gold medalist?! No!”
  • “This has been our dream forever,” she said after the win. “I wish he [her father] was here…We both worked for this. He sacrificed everything to put me in gymnastics. Both my parents really have. This is my family’s medal, my medal. My coach’s medal. He doesn’t get a medal, so I’m dedicating it to all of them.”
  • John expressed how proud he was of his daughter and even gave Biles a nod.
  • “I’m going to tell her I’m so proud of her,” he said. “I want to tell her team that no matter what, you all support her and I want to tell Simone that she truly is the GOAT because she let my baby girl bring the gold medal.”
  • Meanwhile, fans everywhere are celebrating the win.
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Featured Image via Getty
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