Tokyo Olympics: Suni Lee vows to delete Twitter after blaming missing out on gold on too much social media

The star’s profile rocketed after her gold win

Helen Elfer
Wednesday 04 August 2021 10:48
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Suni Lee wins gold in Olympics all-round gymnastics at Tokyo 2020

US gymnast Suni Lee has put her imperfect performance on the uneven bars down to being distracted by social media.

A break-out star at the Tokyo Olympics, Ms Lee won gold in the individual all-around and silver in the team all-around at this year’s games.

Her achievements made history, as she became the first Asian American woman to win gold in the Olympics’ all-around competition.

The 18-year-old also took bronze for the uneven bars, but despite her success, told reporters she had been disappointed not to do better, explaining that she considered the bars to be “my thing.”

Ms Lee was the clear favourite to win the uneven bars final, but uncharacteristic errors and an uneven performance meant Belgium’s Nina Derwael and the Russia’s Anastasiia Iliankova were able to take first and second place.

"Bars is something I really cherish," Lee said after the competition, reports the Associated Press. "So when I mess it up, it really sucks."

Ms Lee was positive about being able to go home with bronze, silver and gold medals, but expressed regret that her wins weren’t exactly what she had envisioned:

“It’s really cool,” Lee said. “I just wish the bronze medal was a beam medal, not bars.”

She explained to People: "This medal probably means more to me than the all-around gold medal did, just because bars is my thing," continuing "To mess it up like this, I was just kind of sad about it."

Ms Lee said she thought social media had played a part in her being less than her best on Sunday, saying she had "got distracted and lost focus a little bit when I won the gold medal" in the all-around three days earlier.

She said she spent a lot of time on social media while in Tokyo.

The gymnastic star’s profile rocketed, especially after her gold win, and she has gained almost 1 million followers on Instagram since the games began. Her Twitter and TikTok accounts have been similarly boosted, and Ms Lee recognised that the blaze of attention had pulled her focus away from the competition.

As the last women’s gymnastics event of the Olympics, the balance beam final, approached,  Ms Lee said she planned to “stay off social media for a little bit.”

“I’ll probably cool down a little bit and just focus on what I need to do especially because we’re coming to the end," she said. "I want to just do the best I can and end it off good.”

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“I’m probably going to delete Twitter,” Ms Lee said. "Instagram is not as bad because I can’t really see what people say, but Twitter it’s just so easy to see everything. So I’m probably going to have to end up deleting that."

But she admitted she was too attached to TikTok to think about giving it up: "TikTok is my getaway app," she said. "It’s just so fun."

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