- Jul 10, 2022
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What Is Suni Lee's Net Worth?
Sunisa "Suni" Lee is an American artistic gymnast who has a net worth of $3 million. At the 2020 Summer Olympics, Lee was the women's artistic individual all-around champion, and she won a bronze medal in the uneven bars. Suni has been a member of the U.S. women's national gymnastics team six times, and she was part of the teams that won gold medals at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany, and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. In 2021, Lee competed on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars," and she and her partner Sasha Farber finished in fifth place. That year "Time" magazine included Suni on its list of the world's most influential people, and in 2022, she was nominated for two ESPY Awards, Female Athlete and U.S. Female Olympian.
Suni Lee was born Sunisa Phabsomphou on March 9, 2003, in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Her mother, Yeev Thoj, is a healthcare worker who emigrated from Laos as a child. From the time Suni was 2 years old, Yeev's longtime partner, John Lee, helped raise her, and Lee considers him to be her father. Suni has three half-siblings, Lucky, Evionn, and Noah, and Evionn has competed in regional artistic gymnastics competitions. At the age of 6, Lee began taking gymnastics lessons at the Midwest Gymnastics Center, and she started competing the following year, winning the all-around at a Minnesota state meet. When she was 8 years old, Suni jumped three levels, and at age 11, she qualified for the elite program. She was trained by Punnarith Koy until the age of 12.
In 2015, Lee competed in the Hopes division, and in 2016, she began competing as a junior elite. After becoming a member of the junior national team in 2017, she competed in her first international event, the Gymnix International Junior Cup, and she took home a silver medal in the uneven bars event as well as a gold medal for the team event. In May 2017, Suni announced that she was planning to attend Auburn University in Alabama on a gymnastics scholarship. She competed in the 2018 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships, winning three silver medals (balance beam, vault, and floor exercise) and a gold medal in the team final. The following month, Lee was forced to sit out the Pan American Junior Championships due to an ankle injury. She came in fifth in the all-around at the 2018 U.S. Classic and won a gold medal in the balance beam event, then she won a bronze medal in the all-around event at the 2018 U.S. National Championships. Suni's senior debut took place at the 2019 City of Jesolo Trophy, where she won gold medals in the floor, uneven bars, and all-around events and a bronze medal in the balance beam event; the U.S. also won a gold medal in the team final. Lee suffered an ankle injury in April 2019, followed by a hairline fracture in her left tibia two months later. Suni finished second in the balance beam event at the 2019 American Classic and in the bars event at the 2019 GK US Classic, and at the 2019 U.S. National Championships, she won a gold medal in the uneven bars event, a silver medal in the all-around event, and a bronze medal in the floor event. After the 2019 U.S. National Championships, she was named to the national team, and she finished second in the all-around event at the US World Championships trials. At the 2019 World Championships, she won a silver medal in the floor event and a bronze medal in the uneven bars event, and the U.S. won gold in the team event. Lee spent part of 2020 recovering from an Achilles tendon injury and a broken bone in her foot, and in February of the following year, she competed in the 2021 Winter Cup, where she won a gold medal in the uneven bars event and a bronze medal in the balance beam event. Suni won gold medals in the uneven bars and balance beam events at the 2021 American Classic, and later that year, she was featured on the Peacock series "Golden: The Journey of USA's Elite Gymnasts."
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
After finishing first in the uneven bars event and second in the all-around and balance beam events at the 2021 National Championships, Lee was qualified to compete in the Olympic Trials, where she placed first in the uneven bars and balance beam events and second in the all-around event. The 2020 Summer Olympics did not take place until July 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and there, Suni won a gold medal in the all-around event, a bronze medal in the uneven bars event, and a silver medal in the team event. Minnesota governor Tim Walz and St. Paul mayor Melvin Carter honored her achievements by declaring July 30, 2021, "Sunisa Lee Day." In October 2021, Suni received the Asia Game Changer Award for "competing with grace under pressure and making Olympic history." In 2022, she began attending Auburn University and won a gold, silver, and bronze medal in the uneven bars, floor, and team events, respectively, at the SEC Championships and a gold medal in the balance beam event and a silver medal in the all-around event at the NCAA Championship.
In August 2019, a few days before Suni's first senior USA Gymnastics National Championships, her father was paralyzed from the waist down after falling off a ladder. In 2020, Lee's aunt and uncle both passed away after contracting COVID-19. Suni said of the tragedies, "I fought off the negative thoughts and the sadness, and just focused. Now I feel like I'm maybe tougher because of it. No, not maybe. I am tougher because of it." In November 2021, Lee said that when she was in Los Angeles for "Dancing with the Stars," she and her friends were pepper-sprayed by a group of people in a car who screamed racist slurs at them and told them to "go back to where they came from." Lee spoke to "Pop Sugar" about the disturbing incident, stating, "I was so mad, but there was nothing I could do or control because they skirted off. I didn't do anything to them, and having the reputation, it's so hard because I didn't want to do anything that could get me into trouble. I just let it happen." In early 2022, Suni's relationship with USC Trojans football player Jaylin Smith was the subject of hateful comments from members of the Hmong-American community who did not like the fact that she was dating someone of a different race.
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