Already Forced to Take Harsh Step-Back, Suni Lee Unveils “Difficult Decision” on Her Gymnastics Journey

Even the brightest talents need to take a break like Sunisa Lee did. Lee was forced to end this season at Auburn in March after being diagnosed with two kidney diseases. Despite being Simone Biles’ strongest rival, the 20-year-old curtailed her participation in the US Classic and national routines. The American pride at the Tokyo Olympics, Lee was at the height of her powers and reigned as the all-around champion being the first Hmong American to compete for Team USA.

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Lee also earned the American Classic, the national, Winter Cup, and Olympic trial golds before joining as an NCAA athlete. However, she has declined the Worlds selection invitation to solely focus on her health and pursue her goal of returning to the Olympics. She took a break from her intense practice and time on the mats and talked about the current step-down.

Sunisa Lee reflects on her World selection camp ditch


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The Minnesota-born gymnast last displayed her competence at the Xfinity championship at San Jose which ended with 27T in AA. Lee was in a tough spot to continue competing or stabilize her health to get back this season. After deciding to take a pause, Lee engaged with her 1.6M followers on Instagram in an “Ask Me Something” session. When asked about how she feels stepping out of the world selection camp, she said, “definitely sad it was a very difficult decision.” The 3X Olympic medallist further added, “my health is more important and i’m not in the best shape in.”

Her fans were keen to find out more about how she came to the choice to pull out after wrapping up her collegiate year. Lee wrote a detailed explanation and said: “with my health it comes with a lot of different changes since I’m still navigating my way through it all! also knowing my body in & staying true to myself rather than pushing myself and not being satisfied with the results. was definitely a hard decision but i’m 100% sure I made the right call in order to be my best for upcoming year”

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After having braved the training during Spring and Summer, Lee took part in national competitions last month. However, she only competed on vault and balancing beam, and conveniently skipped the uneven bars and floor exercise due to health issues. For the American gymnastics team competing in 2023–24, Lee only had the best wishes. Not many know the point margins were simply remarkable in her return to mats this national season.

Sunisa Lee’s 2023 elite appearances despite health scare


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Lee kept stepping up her training in anticipation of the Paris Olympics, which will take place in the summer of 2024. The onset of gymnastics competitions began with a Balance Beam silver medal in the 2023 Core Hydration Classic. Although half-events didn’t tally up to enough points for the elite contender to place her in the top 10, she won a bronze medal in the same BB routine.

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Due to kidney issues that periodically produced swelling in her hands, she found it difficult to match her skill on the uneven bars and floor routine during practice.


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Despite the missed opportunities so far, Lee still has one more chance to participate in the Olympics. As she takes it easy on herself and moves slower than anticipated toward her Paris Olympics ambitions, Lee now appears to have a plan of action in mind. Do you believe Lee made a good gamble with just one last apparatus event scheduled for the next year?

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Author: ZeroToHero

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