Suni Lee on Dancing with the Stars: Everything you need to know about Olympic gold medallist

Lee won three Olympic medals in Tokyo

Sam Moore
Tuesday 21 September 2021 02:22
Praise continues for Suni Lee's gold medal win

Suni Lee, who was an Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast at the 2020 Olympics, will be one of the contestants on season 30 of <em>Dancing with the Stars</em>.

Born Sunisa Phabsomphou in 2003, Lee’s mother is a refugee from Laos. She took the surname of her step-father, John Lee, when she was a teenager. She has three half-siblings and two step-siblings. She was born in St Paul, Minnesota, the state’s capital.

Lee first began competing in gymnastics when she was seven, just a year after she first started taking classes. She qualified for elite status at 11.

Lee first made the junior national team in 2017 and debuted in Gymnix International Junior Cup where she won a gold medal in the team event and a silver on the uneven bars.

As a junior, she competed in the 2018 US National Championships, where she was hotly tipped for a gold medal. She eventually won bronze overall and gold again on the uneven bars.

The following year Lee made her senior debut at the 2019 City of Jesolo Trophy. At the tournament, Lee won the all-around gold medal and also a team gold. She also won gold on the bars and floor and a bronze on the beam.

Later in 2019, Lee competed at the US National Championships and won a silver medal in the all-around, only finishing behind Simone Biles. She also won a gold on the bars and bronze on the floor.

As a result of her performance at the tournament, Lee was added to the US national team.

The following month, Lee competed at the US World Championship trials where she finished second overall, again behind Biles and was picked to be a part of the US team to compete in Stuttgart.

She was the only first year senior on the team as well as being the only one who had never previously competed at a world championship’s before.

Access unlimited streaming of movies and TV shows with Amazon Prime Video Sign up now for a 30-day free trial

Sign up

At the 2019 World Championships, Lee won a gold in the team event, a silver on the floor and a bronze on the uneven bars.

After the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic cancelled most of the 2020 season, Lee did not compete at the Olympic trials until June 2021. Lee finished in an overall second place behind Biles and qualified for the team.

At the Tokyo Olympics, Lee won a gold medal in the all-around event, a silver in the team and a bronze in the uneven bars.

After her Olympic success, Tim Walz, the governor of Minnesota, declared 30 July to be “Sunisa Lee Day”.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments