18-year-old Sunisa Lee’s Inspirational Journey: From Overcoming Family Tragedies to Winning Olympic Gold

2 min read

“Winning solves everything.”

– Tiger Woods

Born in 2003 in, Minnesota USA, Sunisa Lee is a professional artistic gymnast. She is the daughter of refugees of Hmong descent. Her parents fled from Laos as children at the beginning of the Vietnam War. Lee began gymnastics at the age of 6 and reached elite level by the age of 8. According to Wikipedia, her participation in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics makes her the first Hmong-American to represent the US in Olympic history.

Sunisa Lee

Competitive career

Lee began her career at the age of 13, and in 2017, she made the junior national team. Her international debut was at the Gymnix International Junior Cup, where the US won the team gold and Lee won the silver medal on uneven bars.

In 2018, at the Pacific Rim Junior Championships, she won 3 silver medals and the team gold, earning the championship. Immediately after, she suffered from an ankle injury that prevented her from participating in the Pan American Junior Championships. Determined not to miss out on another major tournament, Lee competed in the US National Championships within months of her injury. She won a bronze in the all-around and gold in the uneven bars.

At the 2019 Jeloso Cup trophy, she won gold in the all-around and the team event. As she prepared for the 2019 US National Championships, she suffered from an ankle injury and a hairline fracture. However, she still managed to win one bronze, two silver and two gold medals at the championships. Her glorious performance earned her a spot on the national team and qualified her for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Facing impossible tragedy and challenges

In 2019, Sunisa Lee’s father was paralyzed in a freak accident. This was followed by the Covid-19 pandemic, which claimed the lives of her aunt and uncle. Due to the lockdown, her training was halted after which she became depressed and considered quitting.

Lee with her mother, father, and siblings after his accident

After she was able to go to the gym, she broke her foot, losing weeks of training. Despite such impossible setbacks and emotional circumstances, Lee pushed herself to make her Olympic dream a reality, saying that these challenges made her mentally stronger and encouraged her to do better, according to the IOC.

Olympic Victory

At 18, Sunisa Lee won the gold medal in women’s gymnastics all-around competition. Additionally, she won a silver in women’s team gymnastics at the Tokyo Olympics.

Overcoming tragedy, loss, injury, and depression with utmost grace, her victory has been applauded by spectators worldwide. She has become a symbol of inspiration, confidence and encouragement for children of refugees and immigrants worldwide who aspire to be athletes like her.

Lee’s emotional celebration after winning gold in Tokyo

In honor of her Olympic success, along with being the first HmongAmerican to win an Olympic gold medal, the governor of Minnesota as well as the mayor of her hometown – St. Paul, declared Friday, July 30, 2021, to be “Sunisa Lee Day”.

#GCPWishesSunisaLee #GCPAWishesOlympians

Team Global Child Prodigy Congratulates Sunisa Lee for winning Gold in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This will inspire millions of people worldwide, including children who aspire to be like her. 

We are on a mission to recognize Child prodigies across the world in all domains. Do let us know in the comment section if you know any such kid, who deserves to be on the top 100 Child Prodigies list. Or you can directly apply For Global Child Prodigy Award 2021 from the link below.

Get to Know about the Latest Child Prodigies!

Subscribe to our Newsletter