Bay Area

Sunisa Lee Thanks Supporters in Hmong After Community Rallies Behind Her

Bay Area

Sunisa Lee had a brief message for her Hmong-speaking supporters at a Tuesday morning press conference.

Speaking Hmong, a reporter asked Lee, the first Asian American woman to win gold in the Olympics’ all-around competition, how she thought her victory would help the Asian and Hmong communities.

“Do I say it in Hmong or in —,” Lee responded, before laughing. “I don’t think I can say it. You guys are going to laugh at me.”

“Hello, my name is Sunisa Lee,” the gymnast then said in Hmong.

“I just want to say thank you for all your support,” Lee continued in English. “I love you guys so much, see you soon.”

In an interview last week with NBC’s “TODAY” show, Lee discussed the support she’s received from the Hmong community in Minnesota, who she said “sacrificed a lot” for her.

The Olympic experience has “definitely been very emotional,” Lee also said Tuesday.

“I call my parents, and I want to cry every time,” Lee told reporters.

The three-time Olympic medalist — who won gold in the women’s all-around, silver in the team final, and bronze in the uneven bars — said her parents have stayed up to watch her competitions. Lee added she is “super appreciative” of everyone supporting her back home, because she wouldn’t have made it the Olympic stage without them.

 

The 18-year-old from Minnesota added she never thought she’d represent the United States and the Hmong community in the Olympics.

“I really want to be an inspiration to others and help others reach their dreams,” Lee said.