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Olympian Sunisa Lee Recalls how she enters new routine as star student



Olympic gold medalist and Dancing with the Stars competitor Sunisa Lee as of late entered another daily schedule — moving her concentration from gold to orange and blue as a “star” understudy at Auburn University.

Similar as her opposition in Tokyo this late spring, being in school at Auburn is a job she’s enthusiastically expected for a long time — five, to be precise.

“I’ve been committed for around five years. Thus, I came here (to Auburn) about each year paving the way to this year since I would come to camps constantly and I’d quite recently stayed with Jeff and train here,” she expressed, alluding to Auburn Gymnastics Head Coach Jeff Graba, who alongside his twin sibling, Jess Graba, instructed Lee in her effective race to the gold in the ladies’ Olympic vaulting all over.

“Along these lines, it was truly energizing when I at last could come here since it was like, I’d been hanging tight for such a long time,” Lee added. “I’ve known about Auburn for quite a while.”

At the point when Lee — nicknamed “Suni” — showed up on the Plains interestingly as an understudy last month to begin the fall 2021 semester, her experience reaffirmed her choice.


“Reddish simply feels like home,” said St. Paul, Minnesota, local. “I love it here. Everyone’s so inviting. Individuals here are simply astonishing, and the climate is astonishing also. You will get all the assist that you with requiring. You will feel adored by everyone here.”

Since starting her experience as an understudy, she said she’s partaken in some margin time “simply being to some degree typical” following the Olympics and has likewise truly delighted in gathering her kindred Auburn vaulting colleagues.

“At the point when you’re a world class gymnastic specialist, it’s so difficult on the grounds that you need to forfeit so many things and you can’t spend time with companions — like you need to do online school,” said Lee, who is studying business advertising at Auburn. “Thus, coming here it seems like a help since like I get to go out with my companions and like have a great time. Also, the (tumbling) group here is simply astonishing. While you’re contending without anyone else, you’re in a real sense just without anyone else constantly. In this way, when I’m here, I simply feel like I’m much more joyful and I’m super energized.”


Furthermore, albeit most everybody knows her nearby and she’s approached to take a periodic photograph with a bystander, Lee says it’s good to not have a worldwide crowd keeping a close eye on her.

“I feel like I won’t come down on myself any longer,” she said. “It’s simply so easing not being wonderful each and every time. Also, I realize many individuals were like, for what reason would she say she is coming to Auburn? Like she could be doing such countless different things. Yet, I simply needed to have a great time and find the motivation behind why I cherished tumbling to such an extent.”

While at Auburn, Lee says she’ll in any case depend on a large number of the very characteristics that assisted her with accomplishing gold.


“It has set me up a great deal,” she said of her Olympic preparation. “I certainly am significantly more ready, and I feel like I’ve developed a ton since being a first class tumbler since you sort of needs to early in life. You’re continuously living without your folks. You’re voyaging all over the place. Thus, I sort of needed to grow up. Furthermore, I feel that assisted me with coming here a great deal since I won’t have my folks and I need to do everything without anyone else.”

Being willing to take on new difficulties, regardless of how hard, additionally pre-arranged Lee for one more open door that has projected her back in the public spotlight. As of late, Lee was moved toward by the hit TV demonstrate Dancing with the Stars to be a cast part for the season that debuted on Sept. 20.

“It’s certainly going to be altogether different,” she said prior to showing up on the show. “Yet, I know that it won’t be pretty much as troublesome as anything I did in the Olympics or paving the way to the Olympics. Thus, I know that I’m great around there, however I believe it’s more mental on the grounds that I’m not a generally excellent artist. Thus, I’m eager to perceive how this works out and I’m truly eager to figure out who my accomplice is and exactly the way that the entire thing will go. I think it’ll be exceptionally fun.”

She added with a giggle that she’d been attempting to envision everything in her mind “trusting that like I can turn into an artist short-term.” She said she knows it’s a major liability and that she trusts she can continue in similar strides of such countless other previous Olympic stars like Simone Biles who performed well on the show.

Lee conceded some could consider how she can deal with everything while at the same time concentrating as an understudy and planning as an individual from Auburn’s tumbling group.


“What’s more, I’m as, I don’t actually have any acquaintance with myself, yet I’m about to attempt to check whether it works,” she said.


In any case, her objectives don’t stop there.

“I realize that I need to pursue another Olympics, need to make a different universe (Championships rivalry), and I likewise truly need to help Auburn in vaulting, obviously.”

Furthermore, when the spotlight sparkles again on Lee in Auburn Arena, she’ll be prepared to put on an act for her usual hangout spot.

“I most certainly didn’t believe that I would have such countless allies from Auburn, however now that I do it’s simply really astonishing,” she said. “I can hardly hang tight for vaulting season to be here. The field will be going off the deep end. Better believe it, I’m energized.”