After winning an Olympic gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, it would make sense to skip school, but Suni Lee still wants to go to college.
The young gymnast will start her college career at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. But for fans who want to see her compete, don’t worry, she’ll compete for her school.
“I do want to go to college and have fun and kind of get away from this elite atmosphere just because it’s so, like, crazy,” Lee said on Friday. “And I know that college is going to be way better.”
Lee will be moving in with the incoming freshmen on August 11th. After winning Olympic Gold and being thrust into the international spotlight, that’s probably quite a transition. But Lee seems to be looking forward to it all the same.
“(College) just has been another one of my dreams and goals after the Olympics,” Lee explained.
Suni’s long-time coach is twin brothers with the man who will be her coach at college, so she’ll already have some level of familiarity. And NCAA rules permit Suni from too much practice time. For her, that’s actually a bonus. The gymnast is excited for the chance to have time to dedicate to rest.
“My body just needs time to heal itself,” she said.
Suni Lee Gets to Make a Profit After 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Out of all of the young American women who have run the women’s all-around in the past five Olympics, none of them went on to compete at a collegiate level.
But times have changed. New legislation has been passed that allows college athletes to make money off of their image, name, and likeness. This makes the decision between going pro and getting sponsors and going to college a bit easier.
Essentially, this means Lee won’t have to make the choice between making great money and getting an education. Her new coach at Auburn, Jeff Graba, spoke about that to Al.com.
“I just love the fact that… thank goodness for the NIL, because she doesn’t have to make a horrible decision,” Graba said, “She’s capable of, in her words, ‘I want it all. I want to be able to do everything.’ Now she actually gets that shot.
Suni Lee will also benefit in other ways. The gymnast gained 750,000 Instagram followers out of her win. Now, she’ll be able to make a profit on social media if she chooses.
Along with the newfound fame comes something even more wonderful. Suni Now has her own holiday. The Minnesota governor has officially declared July 30th Suni Lee day in Minnesota.
Suni’s impressive win is definitely one of the highlights of the Tokyo Olympics thus far, but there’s still plenty more to go. We’re just starting to get into the track and field competitions, and there are still gymnastics competitions yet to go. You can catch the action on NBC.