Who is Sunisa Lee? Meet the 18-year-old gymnast who took home the gold

Sunisa Lee earned the top spot at the all-around gymnastics final at the Tokyo Olympics—and she's just getting started

TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 29: Sunisa Lee of Team United States poses with her gold medal after winning the Women's All-Around Final on day six of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 29, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There's another gymnastics queen in town! Sunisa Lee has taken home the gold in the women’s individual all-around final at the Tokyo Olympics, and Team USA couldn't be more thrilled with its new starlet. 

"This is such a surreal moment. I just feel like I could have never been here ever. It doesn't even feel like real life," Lee said upon her win. 

Despite personal hurdles and injuries—and a void following Simone Biles' mental health concerns and eventual withdrawal earlier in the competition—Sunisa Lee stepped up to the plate (rather, the beam, floor, and vault) and lead her team to victory. 

Let's find out more about the new golden girl of gymnastics!

Suni Lee all-around performance

Sunisa Lee's all-around performance at the Tokyo Olympics turned heads and earned her much-deserved recognition. She is now the fifth consecutive American female gymnast—and third consecutive woman of color—to take the top spot at the individual all-around final at the Olympics, per CNN. Her total score came in at a whopping 13.833.

Suni Lee gold medal reaction

After several years of setbacks—including losing an uncle to COVID-19, witnessing her father's paralyzation, and even suffering her own gymnastics-related injuries—Sunisa Lee managed to overcome those hardships and get the top spot on the podium. 

Her family and loved ones back home in Minnesota cheered her on enthusiastically. "The people i do it all for I LOVE YOU ALL," Lee wrote on Twitter alongside a clip of her family's reaction.  

Now that Lee has gotten everyone's attention, fans are dying to learn more about the up-and-coming star, where she's from, and what is in store next. (We have a feeling this will be one of many victories for her.) 

What nationality is Sunisa Lee?

Sunisa Lee is the first Hmong American to make the U.S. gymnastics team and she did her people proud with a fist-place finish. Her record-breaking stats continue, as she is also the first Hmong American ever to earn a gold medal at the Olympic games.

The Hmong people are an ethnic group hailing from the mountain regions of southern China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar. 

TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 29: Sunisa Lee of USA during the gymnastics artistic Women's All-Around Final on day six of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 29, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

(Image credit: Getty Images)

How old is Sunisa Lee?

Born on March 9, 2003, Suni Lee is 18-years-old (and a Pisces). She was raised in Minnesota and is currently training under Jess Graba and Alison Lim at the Midwest Gymnastics Center, according to USA Gymnastics website. She's only been practicing since 2009—a mere 12 years—and she's already ascended to the top. 

Where did Suni Lee go to high school?

Lee attended South St. Paul Secondary in St. Paul, Minnesota. She'll be attending Auburn University this fall as a member of the class of 2025, though her major is still undecided.

Sunisa Lee siblings: Does she have brothers or sisters?

Lee is one of six children. Her siblings include sisters Shyenne and Evionn, who are also involved in gymnastics, and brothers Jonah, Lucky, and Noah.

Although the Tokyo Olympics is but one competition, we have a feeling Sunisa Lee is just getting started. 

"I thought she was this good all the time," her coach Jess Graba told The New York Times. "I feel best that everybody else got to see it. She finally got to show it."

We can't wait to see what she does next!

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.