“I Lost My Whole Childhood”: Suni Lee Wants To Experience ‘Normal’ Youth Away From Gymnastics

Published 11/11/2021, 3:30 PM EST
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Gymnastics – Artistic – Women’s Individual All-Around – Medal Ceremony – Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Tokyo, Japan – July 29, 2021. Gold medallist Sunisa Lee of the United States kisses her medal in front of the olympic rings REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY


Over the years, many gymnasts have come forward to talk about the pressures of being in elite gymnastics. Recently, US Olympian Suni Lee also talked about how hard her life is, both in and away from the sport.

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The 2020 all-around champion, Lee is one of the youngest in her team who started gymnastics at the mere age of 6 and since, has never left the mat. Currently, she is also participating in the popular American show Dancing with the Stars.

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The star recently spoke about the sacrifices she made to establish herself in the sport. It is indeed an achievement to be recognized as one of the best gymnasts in the sport, at such a young age.

Lee feels everything was taken away from her by the sport

Lee turned towards gymnastics at a very young age and has never stopped working hard since then. Her childhood was filled with training sessions instead of school, leading a life, unlike the ideal teenager. Hence, the college fresher wishes to have a normal and happy life now.

TOKYO, JAPAN – AUGUST 03: Sunisa Lee of Team United States competes during the Women’s Balance Beam Final on day eleven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on August 03, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

I lost my whole childhood to gymnastics. Since I sacrificed all of that, I wanted to have the college experience and get what I couldn’t have. I wanted to be treated normal,” said the Olympic star, Suni Lee.

I was doing gymnastics for, like, 12 years, and I feel like I never had time to just do anything fun. I really wanted to try and find myself on this show, because I feel like everything got taken away from me in gymnastics,” she added.

Previously, gymnastics legend Simone Biles also revealed the toxic work culture of elite gymnastics, and how it encourages prioritizing performance and success over health.

“I don’t know how to have fun”- Suni Lee

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In gymnastics, the only thing important was performance and getting medals. Hence, DWTS was a big change for Suni Lee to do something different. The show was not just about her performance, but also about having fun.

It’s a lot harder than I thought it was going to be and it’s very different. The hardest thing is I get to have fun, and I don’t know how to have fun,said Lee.

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It’s not only gymnastics where Lee raises the bar. Suni has other fields of interest too and dance is one of them. Showing off her spellbound moves on the show, she has proved that she’s more than just a gymnastics icon.

DIVE DEEPER

“It’s Just So Toxic”- US Olympic Star Suni Lee Opens Up on the Attitude Towards Gymnastics

3 months ago

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Richa Goswami

158 articles

Richa Goswami is a US Sports writer at EssentiallySports. As an adherent learner, she uses her journalistic persona to navigate through new skills. Richa has completed her schooling at Don Bosco.

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