Tokyo — Sunisa Lee came to Japan to win the gold medal. And she did. It’s not what she really really wanted.
An 18-year-old woman from Minnesota is a revelation of uneven bars, and her routine is a complex series of connections and releases that appear to be completed very easily.
She is not the only one. Her acquisition is the result of many years of hard work. She is one of the best in the world on it and shows it in the all-round final where her electric set helps the edge of Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade and becomes the fifth consecutive American woman to win the Olympic title. I did.
Three days later, after a surge in fame, she was completely incorrect. Admitting that she was distracted by the attention surrounding the victory, it was a pain in the finals of the Sunday event, even if there was a connection that would normally come very easily. As a result, she won the bronze medal and she was disappointed.
Yes, the all-purpose title is great. She carries it with her for the rest of her life. But the bar is her jam. Only her long-awaited confrontation with Belgian star Nina Derwael didn’t come true. Lee, who led in a blue leotard with dazzling crystals in the finals of eight women, wasn’t enough to get the podium long before 14.500 flashed across the scoreboard in the middle of the routine. I knew there wasn’t.
“The bar is what I really cherish,” Lee said, wearing shoes borrowed from American teammate Jade Carrie, but forgetting the shoes that came with the American uniform when he returned to the hotel. Said. “So when I ruin it, it’s really terrible.”
Even though Lee Seung-yuop’s definition of “messed up” is different from most others. Bronze gave her the full rainbow of Olympic bling and went with the all-purpose gold and silver she claimed in the team’s competition.
Any stretch is impressive. That is not the purpose for which she came here.
“It’s really cool,” Lee said. “I wish the bronze medal was a balance beam medal instead of a bar.”
Lee will have a chance to add to her stash in the Beam Finals on Tuesday. The medal will be a little surprising. One of the bars was almost given. She won it, but she didn’t show while doing it. She thinks that the lack of a phone call in the last few days has something to do with it.
Her popularity exploded 10 days after the tournament began. She has added 950,000 followers to Instagram. This is a staggering 390% increase, including 365,000 from last Thursday.
When on the podium after a marquee event at the Olympic Games, it usually comes with the territory. She didn’t expect it. She thought she would fight for silver behind her teammate Simone Biles. The 2016 Olympic champion then withdrew from the all-round final to focus on her mental health, opening the door for Lee to take a step forward with her graceful and gritty performance.
More than two days after her victory was a whirlwind of interviews and social media mentions. That’s a lot. At this point, it’s probably too much. Lee Seung-yuop thinks he may remove Twitter until the competition is over.
Devael awarded Belgium the first ever gold medal in women’s gymnastics. This is the last history of a night full of it.
Israel’s Archom Dorgopyat won his second gold medal at the Summer Olympics and won the floor exercise. Andrade was the runner-up to Lee all-round and provided Brazil with the first gymnastics money. Lee Chih-kai’s pommel horse silver medal was Taiwan’s first after finishing behind two-time Olympic champion Max Whitlock in the United Kingdom.
Andrade’s stunning vault show is even more unpleasant given that she had already survived three knee reconstruction surgeries and wasn’t able to compete in the tournament until early June. She gets a great deal of airtime from a block away from the arched table, which appears to be dropped from the catwalk hanging on the podium of the Ariake Gymnastics Center.
“I don’t know what to say. I couldn’t imagine standing on the podium,” said 22-year-old Andrade. “I think I’m pretty mature. I’ve improved from my injury.”
Andrade’s average of 15.083 placed her right in front of Mikaila Skinner. The 24-year-old American didn’t know if he would play in the final until Saturday afternoon after Biles opted out. She excavated both Chen and Amânar and said goodbye to the sport from the medal stand. Already married, Skinner is retired.
How to go out. Two years ago, she re-entered the elite world after three years of joint competition in Utah. She dealt with both COVID-19 and pneumonia during the pandemic and thought she would return home early last week after not being able to automatically participate in the finals. Biles then told her to stick because she wasn’t sure if she would compete.
Skinner heard Biles’ voice in the finals and urged him to get the podium he might have seen when he officially made his comeback at the 2019 US Championships.
“I think it’s really cool to show that age is just a number, work hard, and dream of it and everything is possible,” Skinner said. “So I’m very honored to never give up and keep pushing my dreams to come here.”