Sunisa Lee said she couldn’t help but think of her father as she stood on the gold medal podium with Team USA at the World Gymnastics Championship in Stuttgart, Germany.
It was just in August when her father fell off a ladder while trying to help a friend. Her father, a Persian Gulf War veteran, suffered a spinal cord injury and is now paralyzed.
“I was thinking of my dad the whole time,” the 16 year old said to NBC Sports, “and to do it for him because I knew that he would be so proud.”
“I FaceTimed him last night and he’s telling me that he’s super excited and proud, and he even woke up super early this morning just to watch,” she said Tuesday to the Star Tribune.
Her father John said “it’s amazing” to see his daughter and teammates doing so well.
Simone Biles, the star of the US team, took time to single out Lee.
“What’s impressed me the most, I think, has been Suni. She’s only 16 years old. She’s been through a long year, and to come out and put up the three events and the scores she did is pretty crazy.”
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