The 2021/2020 Olympics were very bewildering for the USA women’s gymnastics team, but we have a new champion. The USA Team finished off in 2nd place overall, with a score of 127.23, for the first time since 2010. Russia ended up taking first with a score of 128.03 and Italy took third with 124.53. Simone Biles, after struggling on 3 of the routines, withdrew from the team competition. She struggled with mental health issues and saw it as if she was being a burden to her team. Suni Lee picked up where Simone left off and won a gold medal for the all-around individual competition. Suni Lee is an 18-year-old from St. Paul, Minnesota who started doing gymnastics at 8 years old. She performed one of the hardest bar routines in the world and changed her whole floor routine last minute because she wanted it to be more challenging now that Simone had dropped out from the competition.
Back in 2019, Lee’s father had a spinal cord injury causing him to be paralyzed, and recently dealt with the deaths of her aunt and uncle to COVID-19. She won the gold medal for her family and for all the Hmong Americans who feel unnoticed and unappreciated. After winning the gold medal she gave a big hug to her coach and teared up while stepping off the podium. Her family shared a cry with her and couldn’t be more proud. She couldn’t believe that this was real and she thought it was all a dream.
After Biles withdrew, Suni became one of the highest-qualifying U.S. gymnasts for the all-around final. All of her hard work had officially paid off and she would step up into the line of Olympic gold medalists such as Gabby Douglass and Simone Biles. Although Simone Biles has dropped out of the competition she still has no idea when she will return. She mentioned how she is keeping the door open because she is unsure about her future and she wanted to be open to any opportunity. If you struggle with severe mental health issues call 1-800-622-HELP and remember it’s okay to not be okay.