Simone Biles' Withdrawal A Blessing In Disguise For Suni Lee

Gettyimages | Jamie Squire

JB Baruelo

The entire world was shocked when Simone Biles decided to withdraw from the Olympic women's gymnastics team final. After committing an early mistake, Biles left the arena and let her Team USA teammates finish the competition without her. After they won the silver medal, Biles also announced that she would no longer defend the gold medal in the Olympic individual all-around event.

With the withdrawal of the "GOAT" in the competition, the gold medal for the individual all-around became up for grabs for other participants.

Suni Lee Wins Gold Medal In Individual All-Around

Gettyimages | Laurence Griffiths

Luckily, the gold medal for the individual all-around competition didn't fall into the hands of other countries. In the absence of Biles, Suni Lee stepped up and captured the gold medal for the USA women's national gymnastic team. After winning the first prize, Lee extended the Team USA's winning streak in the Olympic individual all-around to five, joining previous American all-around winners Carly Patterson (2004), Nasta Liukin (2008), Gabby Douglas (2012), and Biles (2016).

Also, Lee made history by becoming the first Asian-American woman to win the gold medal in the Olympic individual all-around.


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Suni Lee Only Gunning For Silver Before Simone Biles Withdrawal

Gettyimages | Jamie Squire

Though it cost them the gold medal in the Olympics women's gymnastics team final, Biles' decision to also withdraw from the individual all-around became a blessing in disguise for Lee. In an interview with Alyssa Roenigk of ESPN, Lee revealed that she was only aiming for the silver medal before Biles' withdrawal.

"I had to switch gears," Lee said when she learned about Biles' decision. "We were all coming in to compete for second, and this whole season I've been second to [Biles]. There was a lot of pressure. People were counting on me to get second or win the gold medal. But I tried not to focus on that or I would have been too nervous."

Winning Gold Medal Not Easy For Suni Lee

Gettyimages | Carmen Mandato

However, even in the absence of Biles' in the individual all-around competition, Lee didn't take an easy path to win her first Olympic gold medal. In the first two rotations, the vault and uneven bards, Rebeca Andrade of Team Brazil held the lead. Luckily, Lee managed to bounce back and grabbed a small lead over Andrade after a strong beam routine.

Lee, who earned a mark of 57.433, narrowly defeated second-placer Andrade, who got 57.298 points. Meanwhile, bronze-medalist Angelina Melnikova of the Russian Olympic Committee was also not far behind and finished the tournament with a score of 57.199, per Sports News.

Suni Lee's Family Celebrates Victory

Gettyimages | Stephen Maturen

Though they weren't given the opportunity to accompany her to Tokyo, Japan, Lee's family had been fully supportive of her in her Olympic journey. After the result of the individual all-around competition was announced, a video of Lee family's celebration has surfaced on the web.

"My community is so amazing," Lee said. "They were all watching together and got to see me win a gold medal."

Before the medal ceremony, Lee FaceTimed her family to say "I did it." Lee revealed that they were all crying when she personally announced her victory.