2020 Tokyo Olympics: Minnesota Governor Declares July 30th ‘Suni Lee Day’

by Suzanne Halliburton

Suni Lee is the toast of America right now after winning the women’s all-around gymnastics title at the Tokyo Olympics.

But first, her fans in her home state get to celebrate her achievement. That’s why the governor of Minnesota declared Friday, Suni Lee day.

We’re not sure exactly how you properly celebrate Suni day and her unexpected gold. Maybe part of it will be to watch some of her gold medal moves at the Tokyo Olympics.

Here’s her moment from the uneven bars during Thursday’s all-around at the Tokyo Olympics. She scored a 15.3.

After Performance at Tokyo Olympics, Everyone Knows Suni Lee

Sports fans the world over know Lee’s story from the Tokyo Olympics. She wasn’t supposed to be the leader of the American gymnastics team. That was Simone Biles, one of the most dominant gymnasts, ever. But Biles pulled out of the team competition after trying one event. Biles said she had a case of the “twisties” and blamed it on the stress building up to the Tokyo Olympics.

Biles was the top qualifier for the all-around. But she withdrew from the competition, leaving 18-year-old Lee as the United States’ best hope at the Tokyo Olympics of extending its all-around gymnastics streak to five straight gold medals.

Lee pulled off the win, putting up some top scores through the vault, balance beam, uneven parallel bars and floor exercise. Lee probably is the gold medal favorite for the bars. Her degree of difficulty for her bars routine is a 6.8, making it the most difficult in the world. The individual apparatus finals are next week.

Lee grew up in St. Paul, Minn. She’s first-generation American. As children, Lee’s parents immigrated from Laos to Minnesota, which has a big Hmong community. Minnesota leaders wanted to recognize Lee with a home state proclamation.

Minnesota Leaders Say Lee Represents ‘Best of Who We Are’

“Suni Lee, Minnesota’s own, has made our state and country proud by etching her name among the legendary USA Olympians that have won at the Summer Games,” said Minn. Gov. Tim Walz. “We’re so proud of you, Suni. Way to bring home the gold!”

Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan proclaimed:

“Congratulations to Team USA’s Suni Lee, the first Hmong-American Olympian, on bringing home the gold medal. Minnesota is so proud of you. That roar you hear coming from Minnesota is all of the love and excitement we’re sending to you in Tokyo! The story of your victory will be told to generations of Minnesotans as you exemplify the very best of who we are.”

Even her own city is getting in on the Tokyo Olympics proclamations. Saturday is going to be Suni Lee day in St. Paul.

Lee still has two more gold-medal chances at the Tokyo Olympics before she heads home to Minnesota. She’ll compete on the bars and balance beam.

But whatever happens during the rest of her time at the Tokyo Olympics, Lee’s life has changed. And Americans want to help celebrate her golden accomplishments.