American gymnast Sunisa “Suni” Lee won gold in the women’s individual all-around competition at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday, ESPN reported.
Lee received a total score of 57.433, beating out Brazilian Rebeca Andrade’s score of 57.298 and becoming the sixth American to win the women’s individual all-around at the Games, ESPN reported.
“The waiting game was something I hated so much, but when I saw my score came out on top, it was so emotional,” Lee said after winning, according to ESPN. “It doesn’t feel like real life.”
The 18-year-old Minnesotan is the first Hmong American to compete at the Olympics and the first Asian woman of any nationality to win gold at an Olympics all-around event, ESPN reported. Andrade also became the first Latin American gymnast to medal in the all-around competition. (RELATED: Simone Biles Is Reportedly Leaving Nike Over Their Treatment Of Women)
“The past two years have been absolutely crazy with Covid and my family and everything else,” Lee, who overcame a broken bone in her foot and an Achilles tendon injury last year, told reporters after the competition, CNN reported.
“This medal definitely means a lot to me because there was a point in time when I wanted to quit and I just didn’t think I would ever be here, including injuries and stuff,” she added.
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Fellow American Simone Biles, who took home the gold in the individual all-around event in 2016, withdrew from the competition on Wednesday to focus on her mental health. She had previously withdrawn from the team final Tuesday after an uncharacteristically messy vault performance.
Biles took to Instagram on Thursday to express pride in her teammate for her victory. “CONGRATS PRINCESS 🤍✨✨ absolutely killed it!!! OLYMPIC CHAMPION RIGHT HERE !!! So so so beyond proud of you!!!!” Biles wrote.
The Americans placed silver in the team final Tuesday, with the Russian team taking the gold. Two Russian gymnasts, Angelina Melnikova and Vladislava Urazova, placed third and fourth in the individual all-around, respectively, ESPN reported.
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