'Too epic': Suni Lee's Olympic gold in women's all-around final hailed by fans

The 18-year-old and from St Paul, Minnesota is Hmong-American and was, in fact, the first Hmong-American to earn a place on an Olympic team


                            'Too epic': Suni Lee's Olympic gold in women's all-around final hailed by fans
Sunisa Lee won the Olympic women's all-around gymnastics title (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images and Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Sunisa Lee won the Olympic women's all-around gymnastics title, edging Brazilian Rebeca Andrade in the final. Lee, the gold-winner, scored 57.433, while Andrade scored 57.298. Fans online went ecstatic over the victory. Lee is the sixth US woman to claim the all-around title at the Olympic Games. An American woman has won the women's gymnastics all-around title in each of the last five Olympic Games. Andrade's medal is the first for a South American woman in the women's all-around final.

With Simone Biles out of the event after withdrawing from it because of mental health concerns, Lee filled in and exceeded everyone’s expectations. The 18-year-old and from St Paul, Minnesota is Hmong-American and was, in fact, the first Hmong-American to earn a place on an Olympic team.

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Sunisa Lee competes on the balance beam during the Senior Women's 2021 Winter Cup at the Indiana Convention Center on February 27, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Fans of the gymnast cheered online. Sports journalist Lindsay Gibbs tweeted, “The last five Olympic all-around champions have all been from the USA -- Carly Patterson, Nasta Liukin, Gabby Douglas, Simone Biles, and now, Sunisa Lee. The last 3 are all WOC, w/ Lee being the first Hmong-American ever in the Olympics. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow.” One fan tweeted, “As a Hmong-American from St Paul, Minnesota, I’m most proud of Suni Lee tonight, the first Hmong-American to go to the Olympics representing USA and winning gold! This is too epic!!”

Another fan wrote on Twitter, “Women of COLOR out here KILLIN IT!!!!!! Our Beautiful Suni Lee Wins GOLD. Beautiful Black Queen Rebecca Andrade from Brazil wins SILVER!!” One fan wrote, “Incredible accomplishment. It’s even better knowing the story about her father’s accident. Congrats to Suni.”



 



 



 



 

In 2019, KARE-11 reported how Lee’s father John Lee, her biggest cheerleader, was absent from the US National Gymnastics Championships at which Lee finished second overall -- just behind Biles -- because of an accident. “The last thing I remember is I woke up in the hospital,” John said at the time. John was helping a friend cut a limb from a tree when he fell from the ladder. “According to the doctor, I'm pretty much paralyzed from here down,” John, a Navy veteran, said.

“I was in tears seeing my daughter up there with Simone Biles,” John said at the time. “She’s worked so hard for this. I tell her don’t worry about me, just go and do well.” Back then, even Lee had her doubts. “I wasn't in the best place, I guess, going into it, but I just kind of switched gears and competed for my dad.”

A priceless video now shows how Lee’s family cheered as she won her gold. Gia Vang of KARE-11 tweeted, “She did it.  @sunisalee_ is the queen of the women’s gymnastics all-around finals and her parents. OMG.  Tears everywhere.” Public radio journalist Doualy Xaykaothao shared the video, saying, "AND SHE DID IT!!!! Go TEAM #sunisalee!!! You were already a champion to us, to Hmong people everywhere, but now you are a champion to other Americans, too, and others, around the globe. May you ALWAYS know this JOY my sister."



 



 

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