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Simone Biles had an exciting message for Olympic gymnastics all-around gold medal winner Sunisa Lee, expressing pride and awe over the 18-year-old’s impressive win. “CONGRATS PRINCESS” wrote Ms. Biles on Instagram with star emojis. “Absolutely killed it!!! OLYMPIC CHAMPION RIGHT HERE!!!”  

The message, from one champion to another, was yet another display of Ms. Biles’ commitment to supporting and empowering Team USA gymnastics. Ms. Biles later posted a picture of Ms. Lee, as the gold medal winner returned to Olympic village, noting “The queen has arrived.”

Ms. Lee, who is of Hmong descent, is the first Asian-American athlete to win the gymnastics all around gold medal. She expressed shock and awe over her tremendous victory, stating, “It’s a dream come true. I don’t even know what to say. It hasn’t even sunk in.”


Words of encouragement

The message from Ms. Biles was not the first that Ms. Lee has received from her more experienced teammates during the Olympics. According to Ms. Lee, the entire Team USA gymnastics team sent her messages of encouragement when she felt nervous about her performance in Tokyo. “They told me to just go out there and not worry about anything else,” she said.  

Ms. Lee further noted, “I was starting to put a lot of pressure on myself,” prior to her Olympic performance.

Yet the 18-year-old from St. Paul, Minnesota, has a long winning streak. She was part of the 2019 all-around gold medal team for the United States at the gymnastics world championship, and an integral member of the 2020 Olympic team that won silver in the all-around competition.

Biles and Chiles Rock Night One at US Olympic Trials

Americans dominate Olympics gymnastics

Ms. Lee is also the fifth American gymnastics competitor to win an Olympic all-around goal medal, joining fellow sports icons including Ms. Biles, Gabby Douglas, Nastia Liukin, and Carly Patterson. 

Ms. Lee’s victory is especially sweet given the circumstances surrounding the Tokyo Olympics, which were pushed back a year due to the COVID19 pandemic. “The past two years with Covid have been crazy. There was one point I wanted to quit. To be here and to be an Olympic gold medalist is just crazy.”

Erika Stone is a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma, and a graduate assistant at Schusterman Library. A Chess Memorial Scholar, she has a B.A. in Psychology...

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