USA's Suni Lee Wins Gold In Gymnastics All-Around

by Christina Marfice
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After Simone Biles withdrew from the individual all-around, her teammate, Suni Lee, won gold

In qualifying events for the gymnastics individual all-around event in Tokyo, Simone Biles dominated. She was the easy favorite to take the gold medal in the event for the second Olympics in a row — in fact, she hasn’t lost an all-around event since 2013. But after she withdrew from the all-around to take care of her mental health (a true champion move), it became anyone’s game. The four gymnasts behind her were separated by 0.3 of a point in the qualifiers. After a nail-biting night of competition, we have a gold medal winner: Biles’s teammate, Suni Lee.

Lee is now the fifth consecutive American to win gold in the individual all-around.

After finishing third in the all-around qualifiers, Lee held off other top competitors from Brazil and Russia and won gold by just 0.135 points. Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade took silver, and Angelina Melnikova of the Russian Olympic Committee won the bronze medal. Jade Carey, the other American gymnast expected to be a strong competitor in the all-around, finished 8th after a heartbreaking fall on the balance beam.

Lee took the lead after the second event, the uneven bars, which is by far her best event. Despite a few mistakes and last-minute changes, her incredibly difficult routine earned her a score of 15.3, which was the highest score on the uneven bars all night. She managed to hang onto her lead after the third event, the balance beam, but the scores were incredibly close going into floor routines.

Lee put together an impressive routine on the floor, though, and by a tiny fraction of a point, emerged the winner in the event. Her family cheered her on from home, and made a few appearances on the TV broadcast of the event, showing their support.

Simone Biles also watched from the stands, supporting her teammates.

18-year-old Lee’s win is historic. She’s the first Hmong American ever to be named to a U.S. Olympic team. That’s not even mentioning the fact that she competed in the Olympics this year after a rough 2020 — she broke her foot, battled COVID-19, and lost an aunt and an uncle.

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In interviews, Lee attributed her success to her family’s support. According to Axios, her father bought a computer just so he could watch her compete from home.

“[He tells me] to go out there and do my best and to just do what I do,” she said. There’s no doubt Lee’s family is proud — but so is all of the U.S.