After a thrilling run at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics — resulting in gold, silver and bronze medals in women's gymnastics — St. Paul's Suni Lee is expected to return to the Twin Cities this afternoon. Before her flight home, the 18-year-old star made a pit stop in New York to reunite with her family on the "Today" show.
Lee, the first Hmong American to represent Team USA, shared the video clip of her father's hug with the caption: "my whole heart."
Lee's Olympics journey was marked by challenges, including the unexpected departure of Team USA leader Simone Biles. Lee stepped up to lead the team to a silver medal, posting the top U.S. scores on bars, balance beam and floor — an event in which she was not scheduled to compete.
Suni Lee's individual quest for the gold medal in women's all-around gymnastics continued; her daring uneven bars routine was the linchpin of her victory.
She finished her sparkling Olympics debut with a bronze medal in the uneven bars, though she was disappointed by her performance in her signature event.
"This wasn't the bar routine I wanted to do or was supposed to do," Lee said. "I'm still really proud of myself for staying with it. There were so many times during my bar routine that I could have just given up and jumped off, but I didn't. And I have a bronze medal.''
Suni Lee returns to the United States today with three Olympic medals and millions of new fans. As one 12-year-old boy outside the "Today" show studio greeted his hero in tears, his mom shouted to Lee: "Minnesota loves you!"