A new star is born as 18-year old Sunisa Lee, from Saint Paul, Minnesota, became the fifth straight American to win the most coveted individual event at the Summer Games, the individual all-around in gymnastics.
A GOLDEN MOMENT FOR SUNI LEE 👏
SHE WINS GOLD IN THE ALL-AROUND 🥇 pic.twitter.com/R4QClkSrQk
— ESPN (@espn) July 29, 2021
Lee leapt to the top of the podium with a positive attitude and an adorable smile. She was a breath of fresh air following the the negative fog surrounding the exit of the reigning all-around champion, Simone Biles, due to mental struggles with stress.
After taking the top prize, Lee said she did not feel pressure because she talked to coach and to herself and knew what she was capable of and either way she was going to be proud of herself for competing in the Olympics.
Suni Lee no pressure
Sunisa’s dad, John, is wheelchair-bound after he was paralyzed in 2019 when he fell from a ladder. Before the crippling injury, he was the first Hmong-American Olympian in US history.
The competition was wide open and Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade had an opportunity to pass Lee, but stepped out of bounds twice on the floor exercise.
However, Andrade still became the first gymnast in Brazil’s history to earn a medal in the all-around.
Angelina Melnikova of the Russian Olympic Committee grabbed the bronze. Biles’ replacement, Jade Carey, finished eighth.
Biles famously withdrew following a strange vault on her first rotation during Tuesday’s team competition finals.
She somehow got “lost in the air.”
Biles’ teammates, Suni Lee, Grace McCallum and Jordan Chiles picked up the pieces and went on to win the silver medal despite her absence, finishing behind the ROC contingent.