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Suni Lee is the First Asian American Woman to Win Gold at the Olympics

Olympic gymnast Suni Lee has broken quite a few records last week at the Tokyo Games. Lee won the gold medal on Thursday in the women’s individual all-around gymnastic final, defending the title despite the absence of the reigning champion, Simone Biles, who withdrew from the competition due to mental health reasons.

The 18-year-old from Minnesota became the first Asian American woman to win gold in the Olympics all-around competition and as the first Hmong American to compete in the Olympics, “If I’m being honest, I did not sleep very good last night. I was just so excited, there was just so much going on in my head,” Lee said.

Lee’s final score was 57.44, Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade finished with a 57.298, and Russian athlete Angelina Melnikova won the bronze. “I was just telling myself to do nothing more and nothing less,” Lee said. “And I was just telling myself to breathe because in that moment I felt like I was going to puke.”

Lee thanked her father, who became paralyzed after he fell off a ladder in 2019. He encouraged her to continue the U.S. National Gymnastics Championships. “My dad means so much to me. I love him so much and I wish he could be here and share this moment with me,” she said.

Lee also won silver at the Tokyo Games in the team final Tuesday, and she will go on to compete for titles in the bars and beam next week. “I’m really nervous, but I feel like I’m really ready to compete on bars and beam,” she said on Friday.

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