July 29, 2021
American gymnast Sunisa "Suni" Lee, 18, stunned spectators around the world with her breathtaking performance in Tokyo Thursday that earned her the gold.
Here are some interesting facts about Suni Lee, the gymnast queen:
- Suni's parents emigrated to the US from Laos, and are both Hmong, an ethnic group spread out throughout parts of Southeast Asia. Lee's triumph is the biggest accomplishment for an American Hmong.
- The Lees were a family of modest means after moving to Minnesota. Suni's father, John, built a four-foot-long balancing beam out of a spare mattress for Suni to practice on as a kid, which still stands in their backyard.
- In 2019, just before Suni was set to participate in the US National Gymnastics Championships, John got into a terrible accident while helping a friend trim a tree, which left him paralyzed from the waist down.
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