The Olympics may be over, but Suni's still slaying.
Gold medal Olympian Sunisa Lee made history not once, but twice. First when she became the first Asian-American to win gold in the all-around gymnastics competition, and again when she became the first American Olympic to move to National Collegiate Athletic Association gymnastics. And now, she’s finally back on the mat to represent her college in a meet for the first time. On Jan. 14, Lee competed in her first NCAA competition with her team at Auburn University and, wow, Suni Lee’s first Auburn University floor routine is amazing, of course.
The Auburn gymnastics team competed at Arkansas’ Bud Walton Arena in front of a record-breaking crowd of 10,345 people. Lee competed in the uneven bars, balance beam, and floor for the first time with her new college team. Her beautiful floor routine earned her a knock-out score of 9.875.
At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Lee’s floor routine earned a score of 13.7 and led her to become the fifth American in a row to win the all-around title. Lee’s winning move is known as a double double, or the Silivas, an artistic gymnastic move that consists of two somersaults and two twists mid-air. Named after Romanian Olympic Champion Daniela Silivas, it remains one of the most difficult floor moves.
So, you can take a wild guess as to why Lee’s debut college floor routine had everyone rooting for her.
The night did not stop there. Lee headed to the uneven bars as well and delivered a seamless performance that earned her a score of 9.95. Her uneven bars performance at the 2020 Olympics earned her a top score that is deemed one of the most impressive in the world.
During the summer games, Lee executed two standout moves during her uneven bars routine: the Nabieva, where you fling your body above the upper bar, and the Bhardwaj, a mid-air flip and twist down to the low bar. Lee later said the routine “wasn’t my best bar routine,” and still came out as the highest score of the day. Overall, it earned her the bronze medal.
In addition to kicking off her freshmen year of college, 2021 also saw Lee place fifth on the 30th season of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars and cover Sports Illustrated as their Female Athlete of the Year. We can’t wait to see what she does next.