Sunisa Lee Reveals Her Initial Reaction to Simone Biles Withdrawing From Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 10/01/2021, 2:03 PM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Gymnastics – Artistic – Gymnastics Training – Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Tokyo, Japan – August 3, 2021. Simone Biles of the United States and Sunisa Lee of the United States during training. REUTERS/Mike Blake


When Simone Biles withdrew from four out of five events, team USA’s Sunisa Lee came to save the day. Remarkably, she clinched the gold medal and defended the title Biles had won at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

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The Summer Olympic Games this year saw team USA’s gymnasts stand up to support Biles, despite being the rivals on the mat. However, it was heartbreaking and shocking for the team to watch their star player withdraw.

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Sunisa Lee felt emotional after Biles’ withdrawal

Entering the finals of the women’s team event, American gymnasts were confident of a medal, as they had Biles leading the charge. Unexpectedly, Biles faced a career-threatening setback and withdrew from the games, citing mental health concerns.

Gold medalist Sunisa Lee recently appeared on the Ellen Show. Notably, when Ellen asked Sunisa about her reaction to Biles leaving the match, Sunisa said, “It was so emotional for all of us because she’s a huge part of the team. But also it was like something that we’ve all been through and experienced, so we knew what was happening and nobody else did.”

Sunisa added, “And that’s where I think it sucks for her because she is human. And it’s the worst thing that happened, but it’s also something that we couldn’t control.”

Sunisa Lee clinched the gold medal in the all-around event at her maiden Olympics. She also secured the bronze medal in the uneven bar event, while in total she bagged three Olympic medals, as they clinched the silver medal in the team event.

Simone Biles gifted Sunisa Lee’s dad a custom wheelchair

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When Biles had to leave the Olympic stage, she trusted her teammates to get the job done. Ever since, Simone has left no opportunity to thank them and tell them how proud she is. In a heartwarming gesture, Biles gifted young Olympic champion Sunisa Lee’s dad a customized wheelchair.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – Gymnastics – Artistic – Women’s Team – Final – Ariake Gymnastics Centre, Tokyo, Japan – July 27, 2021. Silver medalists Grace McCallum of the United States, Jordan Chiles of the United States, Simone Biles of the United States and Sunisa Lee of the United States celebrate on the podium REUTERS/Mike Blake

Sunisa Lee’s dad John Lee has been dealing with paralysis since 2019. Notably, Biles’ gesture to thank John Lee for his extraordinary support to Sunisa is winning hearts on the internet.

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Simone and her team of women gymnasts are currently touring 35 cities for the Gold Over America tour. With their breathtaking flips and unbelievable moves, they aim to further inspire a generation of stars. Have you seen their show yet?

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Shreya Verma

307 articles

Shreya Verma is a sports writer at EssentiallySports. A post graduation student in political science, Shreya is also a professional 10m air pistol shooter. As her father was an athlete, she was naturally inclined towards the athletic life.

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