“We Never Really Had the Money”: Suni Lee Reveals Her Dad Made a Homemade Balance Beam to Practice Gymnastics as a Child

Published 12/31/2021, 7:30 AM EST
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 Jamie Squire/Getty Images)


No doubt, being the best of the best comes at a cost. The training athletes go through, right from a young age, is indeed incredible. However, courtesy of the same regimes, American sensation Suni Lee is today regarded as one of the best gymnasts in the world. Recently, she opened up on her journey to the top, revealing a few details of her untold story.

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Coming from a humble background, Suni revealed how her father helped her to practice her favorite sport, despite being limited by finances.

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Suni Lee reveals her struggles

Back in the day, many athletes lacked the resources needed to perfect their craft. However, Lee’s father came up with an idea that she remembers to date. Her father made a balance beam for her to hone her craft, and this paid instant dividends.

“I told him that I wanted to do beam and when I was at home, because, you know, like, when I was younger, my parents, we never really had the money. So it was just like, everything that I had he either made or it was like, something like that,” said Lee.

TOKYO, JAPAN – AUGUST 01: Bronze Medalist Sunisa Lee of Team United States poses with her medal on the podium during the Women’s Uneven Bars Final medal ceremony on day nine of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on August 01, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

“So he made me a beam. And whenever I would come home from practice, I would just literally go back outside and start practicing more beam,” she added.

From practicing on a homemade beam to winning three medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Suni has come a long way.

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Although her performance in the balance beam competition was not up to the mark, she ended up winning a gold medal for the All-around competition, a silver medal for the team event, while also winning the bronze medal for Uneven Bars. Despite not winning the balance beam, her family members supported her throughout the competition, faithful that Suni would not disappoint.

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Where Suni Lee goes from here remains to be seen. However, she is sure to razzle and dazzle her audience with her charm and charisma, regardless of her next stop.

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Jacob Gijy

844 articles

Jacob Gijy is a US Sports and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the center the respect he deserves.

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