Suni Lee says competing alongside Simone Biles, her longtime function mannequin, ‘pushed me to be one of the best model of myself’

Suni Lee kisses her gold medal from the Tokyo Olympics.REUTERS/Lindsey Wasson

  • Suni Lee had numerous function fashions encourage her to change into an all-time gymnastics nice.

  • One such function mannequin — gymnastics GOAT Simone Biles — grew to become her teammate on the Tokyo Olympics.

  • Lee informed Insider about Biles’ affect and her efforts to pay it ahead to different youthful athletes.

Suni Lee is aware of simply how essential it’s to have function fashions to look as much as — particularly on this planet of sports activities.

The 19-year-old American gymnast, who surged to an all-around gold medal on the Tokyo Olympics, has credited a lot of her exceptional success to a handful of ladies who “impressed me to need to be like them or need to be higher for myself.” Nastia Liukin and the whole USA Gymnastics staff that shined on the 2008 Beijing Olympics got here to thoughts, as did one other American legend you might have heard of.

“I might say Simone Biles was clearly considered one of them,” Lee informed Insider. “She’s the GOAT [greatest of all time] of gymnastics.”

Simone Biles (left) and Suni Lee at the Tokyo Olympics.

Simone Biles (left) and Lee on the Tokyo Olympics.Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports activities

After years of admiring the seven-time Olympic medalist from afar, Lee had the privilege of competing alongside Biles on the Tokyo Olympics final yr. At first, the Minnesota native admitted to feeling “starstruck” and considering “it was insane” to only be in the identical neighborhood because the most adorned gymnast in World Championships historical past.

And true to her personal definition of a task mannequin, Lee mentioned that witnessing Biles’ intense “work ethic” was sufficient to encourage her to be nice, too.

“Once I was on the Olympics, my coach and I observed that after I labored alongside her, I used to be continuously getting higher,” Lee mentioned. “You see how she does issues, and it is like, ‘I wanna be like her,’ so it actually pushed me to be one of the best model of myself.”

Simone Biles speaks with her Olympic teammates.

Lee appears to be like on as Biles (proper) addresses her teammates on the 2020 Olympics.REUTERS/Mike Blake

Now that she’s achieved world-renowned success of her personal, Lee is ensuring to guide by instance and function a task mannequin to others. The rising sophomore at Auburn joined tennis legend Serena Williams and highschool basketball star Hansel Enmanuel as a part of Gatorade’s “Gasoline Tomorrow” marketing campaign.

Collectively, the trio goals to assist aspiring athletes see folks like themselves represented on the highest ranges of sport.

“It is actually cool to see manufacturers utilizing their platform to amplify various function fashions,” Lee mentioned. “After which simply being featured alongside Serena Williams and Hansel Enmanuel in these commercials can be tremendous cool as a result of they’re wonderful athletes.”

You’ll be able to learn extra about Gatorade’s efforts to make sports activities extra accessible on the model’s web site, and take a look at Lee’s “Gasoline Tomorrow” marketing campaign spot beneath:


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