'DWTS': Olympic gymnast Suni Lee reveals how personal tragedy made her tough

Suni Lee said has gone through a lot, from witnessing her father being paralyzed from the waist down to having lost her aunt and uncle to Covid-19

                            'DWTS': Olympic gymnast Suni Lee reveals how personal tragedy made her tough
Sunisa Lee of Team United States competes during the Women's Balance Beam Final at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Sunisa Lee (Suni Lee, for short), is an American gymnast. She won the title 'all-around champion' in Tokyo Olympics and bronze in uneven bars.

Lee was a member of the teams that won gold and silver, at the 2019 World Championships and at the Tokyo Olympic Games, respectively. She is also a six-time member of the US Women's National Gymnastics team and is the first Hmong-American Olympian. With a total of 6 world championships and Olympic medals, she is tied with Gabby Douglas, Kim Zmeskal, Kyla Ross Rebecca Bross, as the 9th most decorated American female gymnast.


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Early life and career

At the tender age of 6, Lee started gymnastics at the Midwest Gymnastics Center in Little Canada, Minnesota, where she continues to train to this day. The year after, she began to compete and won the all-around at a state meet (this was the second meet of her career). When she turned 8, Lee moved up three levels and qualified for elite at the age 11. From ages 6-12,  she was trained by Punnarith Koy. 

In August 2019, Lee competed in her first senior USA Gymnastics National Championships. When the topic of discussion was tragedies, Lee said that she did go through a lot, in regard to witnessing her father being paralyzed from the waist down and, having lost both her aunt and uncle to Covid-19. She added that "I am tougher because of it".

Lee is also one of five gymnasts featured in 'Peacock's 2021 docuseries 'Golden: The Journey of USA's Elite Gymnasts'. On August 26, 2021 Lee was revealed as one of the celebrities competing on Season 30 of 'Dancing with the Stars'. 


Personal life

Sunisa Lee was born with the name Sunisa Phabsomphou. She is of Hmong descent, and her mother, a refugee, immigrated to the US from Laos as a child. Growing up, Lee was raised by her mother's longtime partner, John Lee, from the age of two and, she began using his surname professionally as a teenager. She has three half-siblings.


Net worth

According to Wealthy Spy, Suni Lee has an estimated net worth of $2 million, which is inclusive of the money she made from her professional gymnastics career.


'Dancing With the Stars' Season 30 will begin on Monday, September 20 at 8 pm ET on ABC.

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