Suni Lee + SELF Article (Long Good Read)

Monday, October 09, 2023

Image from the SELF article. Photo by Chrisean Rose

As an elite athlete, Lee’s body is her instrument. There’s an intimacy and awareness borne from years spent testing her limits and becoming extremely familiar with every nook and cranny, every strength and weakness. Now, overnight, her body felt completely foreign. She was supposed to be getting ready for the postseason. She was supposed to be celebrating her final collegiate season. She was about to turn 20. Instead, she wondered, What’s wrong with me? [...]

Her message is a reminder for anyone facing health challenges as well as the broader community of girls and women in sports, especially in the Hmong community, in which Lee has noticed girls tend to take on more traditional roles at home. “That’s why I want to help pave a way for other women,” she says. She doesn’t mean that everyone should do gymnastics. Rather, she wants to encourage people to find something that is meaningful to them and that brings them joy, and to not give up on themselves.