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5 Things you need To Know About US Olympic Gymnast ”Suni Lee”

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Sunisa “Suni” Lee is a contender on season 30 of Dancing With the Stars, which debuts on Sept. 20. Her thrilling moving presentation will come under two months after she turned into an Olympic gold medalist on July 29 in Tokyo. The 18-year-old American gymnastic specialist came out on top for the ladies inside and out championship at the Tokyo Olympics, in this way getting her very first individual Olympic gold award. Suni scored 57.433 for the unimaginable presentation, beating silver medalist Rebeca Andrade of Brazil and Angelina Melnikova of the Russian Olympic Committee.

Suni likewise earned a silver medal with her kindred US women’s gymnastics Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum during the group rivalry on July 27. In any case, there’s something else to Suni besides acrobatics! From her experience preparing for Tokyo to her thrilling post-Olympics plans, HollywoodLife has gathered together five vital things to be aware of the moving competitor in front of her DWTS debut.

1. Suni Lee Started Gymnastics At Age 6

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Suni first took up gymnastics at age 6 after watching YouTube videos of Olympians like Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson. “Once I started, I just couldn’t stop,” she said in an interview with the New York Times. “It looked so fun, and I wanted to try it myself.” Suni quickly got the hang of the sport, and her mom Yeev Thoj and dad John Lee had her start training at Midwest Gymnastics Center in Little Canada, Minnesota, according to her bio. There, she was trained by coach Jess Graba, and she began competitively competing at age 7 at a state meet, where she won the all-around. By age 11, Suni had qualified for elite, per bio.

2. Suni Won Gold at the 2019 World Championships

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Suni competed in some big gymnastics competitions, such as the 2016 US Classic and the 2018 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships. But she really put her name on the map at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. Incredibly enough, Suni walked away with three medals at the competition. She was a part of Team USA winning the gold medal ahead of Russia and Italy in the team final. She also won the silver medal in the individual floor exercise, behind teammate Simon, and won the bronze medal in the uneven bars, behind Belgium’s Nina Derwael and Great Britain’s Becky Downie

3. Suni is the first Hmong-American Olympic gymnast.

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Suni left a mark on the world as the first Hmong-American competitor to arrive on a U.S. Olympic team. She got her spot in Team USA for the Tokyo Olympics when she put second in the overall at the Olympic preliminaries back in June. In a meeting with PEOPLE, Suni said that her notable achievement “makes a big difference to the Hmong people group … and to simply be a motivation to other Hmong individuals [means] a great deal to me as well.”

4. Suni has an incredibly supportive family.

Suni’s loved ones have been by her side since she first embarked on her Olympic journey. Her father John would always give her pep talks before her meets, and that was no different even after his tragic 2019 accident. Per ESPN, John was helping a friend cut a tree branch when he fell from a ladder and became paralyzed. “Before my injury, I was active and athletic and I fixed everything around the house,” John told ESPN. “I can’t do any of that now, and it’s hard. But when I get so angry at myself, I look at Sunisa and think about what she has had to go through to get to where she’s at, and she inspires me.”

Suni’s affectionate family experienced another misfortune when her auntie and uncle passed on. The two of them had contracted COVID-19, and her auntie died from the infection, John told ESPN. The uncle recuperated however tragically passed on from a cardiovascular failure before long. In any case, regardless of the relative multitude of difficulties, Suni survived and kept on keeping fixed on overwhelming Tokyo. Her family, unfit to venture out to the Olympics because of the COVID-19 pandemic, stayed at home and has gladly been supporting Suni.

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5. Suni is Heading To College

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Suni has a bright post-Tokyo Olympics future ahead of her. She verbally committed to Auburn University back in 2017 when she was just 14 years old, per her bio. Once she’s home from Tokyo, she’ll begin her exciting college years. And she will, of course, continue competing in gymnastics on the Auburn Tigers. Now, she’ll have to balance dance AND schoolwork!

Suni formally endorsed the school in Nov. 2020 and shared an Instagram post to commend her major choice. “Exceptional thank you to my family and mentors for all that they’ve accomplished for me,” she said. “My folks, for quitting any pretense of everything for myself and being my greatest allies through everything. my mentors, for pushing me to be the best competitor I can be and training me to never abandon my fantasies.”

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