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Suni Lee Will Star at Auburn, But First She’s Representing Team USA in Olympics
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Sunisa Lee is only 18 years old, but she’s looking to make a name for herself at the Tokyo Olympics.

The American gymnast will be one of the youngest competitors at the Olympic Games, but don’t let her lack of age and experience distract you from the fact that she dominates women’s gymnastics. There’s a reason she’s one of six women Team USA took to Tokyo, which includes Simone Biles (ever heard of her?), Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum.

What’s most remarkable about Suni Lee’s path to the Olympics is that she hasn’t even gone off to college yet, but she’ll surely be a star when she reaches Auburn.

Sunisa Lee: From Olympics to Auburn

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Yes, that’s right. Lee is an incoming freshman at Auburn University, but before she settles down on campus she’ll be competing in her best event, the uneven bars, for Team USA in Tokyo.

The youngster stunningly finished in second place at the U.S. Olympic Trials in St. Louis, Missouri, punching her ticket to Tokyo in commanding fashion. She placed behind the legendary Simone Biles, which puts her in extremely elite company.

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“This means so much to me,” Lee said in an interview, per the Montgomery Advertiser. “I’ve worked so hard the past couple years, and to just go out on the floor and do everything I was supposed to do feels amazing.”

The top two finishers from the trials are guaranteed spots on the Olympic team, so Lee and Biles earned their place. Joining them on the U.S. women’s team at the 2020 Olympics will be Jordan Chiles, Grace McCallum and alternates MyKayla Skinner and Jade Carey.

Lee was part of the United States’ gymnastics team that won gold medals at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. There, she won one team gold medal, a silver medal in floor and a bronze medal on uneven bars.

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As a 16-year-old, Lee took home second place at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships. Additionally, she won three gold medals at the U.S.A. Gymnastics National Championships.

Lee made history by becoming the first Hmong American to become an Olympic gymnast. The Hmong people are an ethnic group from mountainous regions throughout Southeast Asia. The Olympian will be hoping to make USA Gymnastics proud and become an Olympic gold medalist when she takes center stage at the Tokyo Games.

Early Years

Lee began training in gymnastics from a young age.

She was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, and trained at the Midwest Gymnastics Center alongside head coach Jess Graba (whose twin brother is the head gymnastics coach at Auburn).

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At Midwest, she practiced everything from floor exercise to balance beam while refining her craft at the uneven bars. She attended high school at Saint Paul Secondary School, having just graduated in 2021. Imagine telling your former high school classmates that you’ll be in the Olympics!

Fast forward a few months and she’s set to join some of the best U.S. Gymnasts in the nation while representing the U.S. National Team. Suni Lee isn’t a household name just yet, but that could change very quickly.

MORE: Simone Biles’ Net Worth: How Much is the Olympic Gymnast Worth?

Karl Rasmussen is a sports writer living in Brooklyn, NY. He studied journalism at the University of Oregon and is an avid fan of the Oregon Ducks, Portland Trail Blazers, New York Yankees and New York Jets.
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