Team USA’s Suni Lee inspired by her father’s own struggles

Sunisa Lee talks about the close bond with her father.

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Sunisa Lee’s road to the Olympics is paved with setbacks and perseverance. This weekend the gymnast became the first Hmong American ever to make a U.S. Olympic team.

Distractify reports her father John gave her a pep talk right before her meet.

“He basically just told me to go out there and do what I normally do – not too much, and not too little,” she said about her dad, “because what I’ve been doing has been working obviously.”

As AsAmNews has previously reported, her father suffered a horrific accident falling from a ladder in 2019. The incident left him paralyzed with a spinal cord injury. Just two months later, Sunisa would go on to win the gold medal at the Gymnastics World Championship.

According to USA Today, her father has recovered enough to travel to see his daughter to compete both in Nationals and at this weekend’s Olympic trials.

“Me and my dad definitely have the closest bond out of everyone in my family,” she told KARE-TV.

John Lee never misses one of his daughter’s meets, but he did after his accident which happened two days before Nationals. He watched his daughter win silver at Nationals from his hospital bed in intensive care along with his wife, Yeev Thoj, by his side.

“I was in tears seeing my daughter up there with Simone Biles,” John said from his hospital room back in 2019 to KARE.

This Olympic year has been an up hill one for Sunisa. She’s battled an ankle injury that has hampered her all year.

She not only guaranteed a spot on the Olympic team with a second place overall finish at the trial, but she beat the queen of the Olympic team, Simone Biles, in the uneven bars.

“I think it’s just a really proud moment overall because it’s such a hard bar routine and when it finally came together, it just felt like all my hard work paid off,” Lee said.

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