Minnesota’s Suni Lee Takes Gold at 2021 Tokyo Olympics
St. Paul's Suni Lee took home the gold medal in the women's gymnastics all-around final in Japan early Thursday morning (locally). Lee is the first Hmong-American to make the U.S. Olympic team.
Lee's score of 57.433 placed her just ahead of Brazil's Rebeca Andrade and the Russian Olympic Committee's Angelika Melnikova. Andrade finished with a score of 57.298 and Melnikova a score of 57.199.
Top gold medal contender Simone Biles withdrew from the competition on Wednesday, opening the door for teammate Jade Carey, who finished eighth.
Lee finished the first rotation in fourth place behind Andrade, Carey and Melnikova then moved into second place after the second rotation with Carey falling to sixth.
Lee jumped into first after the third rotation with a narrow lead over Brazil's Andrade and didn't falter in the fourth rotation.
Lee was born in South St. Paul in 2003 and has been on the United States National Team since 2017. She will compete collegiately at Auburn University.
Her medal record with the United States includes a team gold at the 2018 Pacific Rim Championships along with silver medals in vault, balance beam and floor exercise. At the 2019 World Championships she took home another gold in the team competition to go with a silver in floor exercise and a bronze on the uneven bars.
The gold medal she earned Thursday will pair nicely with the silver the United States earned in the team competition.