Sunisa Lee, known as Suni Lee to her fans, is an 18-year-old American gymnast. She became an Olympic All-Around Champion at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and took home a bronze medal for the uneven bars event.
Standing at only five feet tall, Lee is beloved by fans. On her profile, Lee describes herself as a massive fan of the “Harry Potter” book series and cites “Finding Nemo” as her favorite movie.
To make herself even more relatable, Lee admitted that she has a soft spot for pasta and loves binging her favorite TV show, “Fuller House,” in her free time.
That’s why it was a shock to fans when the recent high school graduate revealed that she was the victim of an attack that she believed was racist in nature.
Suni Lee Was Allegedly Targeted Because Of Her Race
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Lee recently revealed that she was the victim of a racist attack that happened last October.
The alleged attack occurred when she was in Los Angeles filming “Dancing with the Stars.”
She was waiting for a ride outside at night with a group of her female friends, all of Asian descent. She described how a car drove by and started shouting racial slurs at her and her friends, yelling “ching chong” and telling the girls to “go back to where you came from.”
One of the people in the car allegedly sprayed her arm with pepper spray before the car drove off.
Lee said that she was “so mad” but felt that “there was nothing I could do or control because they skirted off.”
She added that she “didn’t do anything to them” because she was concerned about her reputation.
“It’s so hard because I didn’t want to do anything that could get me into trouble,” she said. “I just let it happen.”
It is unclear if Lee reported the incident to authorities, but she is far from alone. The coalition “Stop AAPI Hate” said that more than nine thousand similar incidents were reported to them between March 2020 and June 2021.
Of all of the incidents reported, 63.7% involved verbal harassment and 31.6% took place on public streets. 30.1% took place in and around businesses. Women were also more likely to be targeted than men, as 63.3% of reports were made by women.
Suni Lee Cherishes Her Hmong Background
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When Lee qualified to participate in the 2020 Olympics, she became the first Hmong American to compete for Team USA.
Lee took her responsibility as a role model seriously. She reportedly “went to the gym every day for all the first-generation Americans who wanted to achieve success when their parents had come to the United States with nothing.”
Although Lee felt the pressure of representing the Hmong community, her father made sure to keep her grounded.
Before she competed, he told her, “You’re not doing this for nobody else anymore. Not for your friends, not for the Hmong community. You are doing this for yourself now.”