The Olympic athlete, 18, earned two more medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, all of which she attributes to her dad John Lee. Once she arrived home, Suni told him on the Today show, "I wouldn't be here without you."
She put her gold medal around his neck, and he remarked, "I never thought that I would ever get one of these and she did it. She got it and brought it home. I'm so proud of her, so surprised, so everything."
John, who built Suni her first balance beam in their backyard, had an accident in 2019 that left him paralyzed from the chest down. At the time, he was helping a neighbor prune a tree when he fell off a ladder.
Two years later, Simone Biles witnessed her teammate's special bond with her father firsthand at the 2020 Olympics. Now, she's teaming up with the Today show to give him an electric wheelchair from Quantum Rehab, which will be customized to his needs.
John has used a manual wheelchair since the incident and often relies on his "driver," aka Suni's brother Lucky, to get around, according to Today.
"Hi, Mr. Lee, it's Simone. I love your daughter, Suni, so much and I know how much she loves you," Simone said in a video on Today. "You have done so much for her so I reached out to my friends at the Today show to see if we could do something special for you. Hope you like it."
Olympian Sunisa Lee enters new routine as star student
Olympic gold medalist and soon-to-be Dancing with the Stars contestant Sunisa Lee recently entered a new routine—shifting her focus from gold to orange and blue as a “star” student at Auburn University.
Suni Lee wants to "let loose" on the upcoming season of "Dancing With the Stars." The gymnastics star talked with Access Hollywood about joining the hit ABC show and revealed that she wants people to see the "real me" after snagging three medals at the Tokyo Olympics. Suni also opened up about balancing her freshman year at Auburn University, being a student athlete and competing on "DWTS." Plus, Suni adorably confessed that she is the most starstruck over "Bachelor" alum Matt James.
Access Hollywood spoke to gymnast Suni Lee and her partner Sasha Farber following their “Dancing With The Stars” performance. The duo had an emotional performance and Suni admits that, “It’s definitely scary because everybody knows me as Suni the gymnast and that’s always strong and won the Olympics but I feel like people are so quick to judge, she said. “So it’s really difficult when I do actually show emotion because I don’t know what people are going to say and I’m the type of person who takes what everyone says into consideration...” “DWTS” airs Monday nights on ABC.
After watching Suni Lee win gold at the Summer Olympics, you might think she has nerves of steel. But the world-class gymnast admitted to feeling the pressure on Season 30 of “Dancing with the Stars,” just two weeks into the competition.
As expected, Lee can handle the steps, ace the turns and execute the moves choreographed by her pro partner, Sasha Farber. But she’s not accustomed to showing her emotions to the audience -- and that’s an important factor for any celebrity competing on the ABC reality series.
“Basically, I never, like, open up to people,” Lee said on Monday’s episode. “I guess gymnastics basically made me that way, like you can’t smile at practice or open up to other people, because it shows you’re weak. And I don’t get to feel things very often. I mean, I feel, but I keep it to myself.”
As a result, her learning curve on the “Dancing with the Stars” is likely to focus on letting loose, expressing creativity and providing entertainment value. All four judges on the show -- Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli and Derek Hough -- seem to think Lee is well on her way.