Suni Lee took home her first gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday, and her father was quick to give credit to Simone Biles.
Lee, who is 18, won the women’s gymnastics all-around final. Biles was heavily favored to win the event for a second straight Olympics, but she withdrew due to mental health issues. After Lee posted a score of 57.433 to win the gold, her father John Lee told “TODAY” that there are “no words to express” how much the medal means to his family. He then had a message for Biles.
“I’m gonna tell (Suni) that I’m super proud of her,” John Lee said, via NBC 5 Chicago. “I want to tell her too that no matter what, I’ll support her and I want to tell Simone that she truly is the gold because she let my baby girl bring me a gold medal.”
Lee, who is the youngest Olympian on the United States team, helped the U.S. capture the silver medal in the team all-around on Tuesday. She said after that event that she and her teammates “did it for Simone.”
Biles said she needed to deal with some things “internally” after withdrawing from the team all-around on Tuesday. She left open the possibility that she would compete in the individual all-around, but she ultimately decided to sit out. She opened up about the mental struggles she was having earlier in the week.
Lee’s win in the individual all-around kept an impressive streak alive for the U.S. women’s gymnastics team. The Americans have now won the event in five straight Olympics, dating back to 2004.