Olympic gold medalist Suni Lee has announced on Twitter that she is ending her National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) career at Auburn University to begin training for the 2024 Summer Olympics.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to experience that once-in-a-lifetime feeling and the indescribable emotion when a gold medal is draped around your neck,” the 19-year-old athlete says in a video posted on Tuesday. “But I don’t want it to be just once in a lifetime.”
thank you to my @AuburnU family, you’ll forever have a special place in my heart. let’s make this season the best one yet. WAR EAGLE! pic.twitter.com/8ezp9WdM04
— Sunisa lee (@sunisalee_) November 15, 2022
According to Lee, competing for Auburn was always a dream of hers, and the experience she had there has taught her about teamwork and community.
“This will be my last season competing at Auburn University. My focus right now is to make it the most incredible season yet and to be the best teammate I can be,” she adds in the video. “I am so excited to share that after this season I will be returning to elite gymnastics. I have my sights set on Paris in 2024, and I know what I have to do to get there.”
Lee won gold in the 2020 women’s all-around gymnastics event at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She also won a bronze medal in uneven bars and took home silver with Team USA.
Playing for Auburn, she finished first in the balance beam and second in the all-around behind Trinity Thomas in the 2022 NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championship.
Last year, the Hmong American gymnastics star was named Female Athlete of the Year by Sports Illustrated. Last month, she was named the 2022 Individual Sportswoman of the Year by the Women’s Sports Foundation.
Featured Image via @sunisalee