Sunisa Lee Parents – Sunisa “Suni” Lee is an artistic gymnast from the United States. She is the Olympic all-around champion for 2020 and a bronze medalist on the uneven bars. She was a part of the gold-medal winning teams at the 2019 World Championships and the silver-medal winning teams at the 2020 Olympic Games.
Lee has competed for the United States women’s national gymnastics team six times and is the first Hmong-American Olympian. With a total of six world championships and Olympic medals, she is tied for ninth place among American female gymnasts with Gabby Douglas, Kim Zmeskal, Kyla Ross, and Rebecca Bross.
Suni has already departed Japan with a world-record Olympic performance—and her parents, John Lee and Yeev Thoj have been at her side throughout. Suni Lee, an 18-year-old Team USA gymnast from Minnesota, just won the women’s all-around gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics. She got there via determination, persistence, and the support of her family, particularly her father, John.
Lee is the first Hmong-American Olympian, having immigrated to the United States from Laos with both parents. Sunisa Phabsomphou was born to Yeev and Sunisa Phabsomphou. According to NPR, John and Yeev were children when their family left Laos.
They landed in St. Paul, Minnesota, among a sizable population of Hmong Americans who arrived in the United States with similar experiences. According to Newsweek, Yeev is now employed as a healthcare worker.
The whole community is ecstatic about Suni’s achievement. Tou Ger Xiong, a Hmong activist, told the Pioneer Press that “she is the fulfillment of our forefathers’ desire.” John was paralyzed from the chest down in 2019 after falling off a ladder while assisting a neighbor with tree trimming, two days before Suni was scheduled to participate in the United States National Gymnastics Championships, according to NBC News. Suni wanted to withdraw from the tournament, but her father urged that she participate.
Ye met John Lee, a newly divorced father of two, when she was two years old and started dating him, according to an ESPN interview with the family. Suni and John never married, but she believes John to be her father, even changing her surname to Lee.
Suni celebrated her victories with her family on the Today Show during a live reunion and improvised medal ceremony after a long plane journey home. She presented her medals to her parents and brother on an emotional occasion, and the photos are beyond adorable.