Story at a glance

  • Sunisa Lee won the gold medal for women’s gymnastics at the Tokyo Olympics.
  • She is the first Hmong American to earn a medal.
  • Team USA took the silver medal earlier this week.

A tepid 2020 Tokyo Olympics set against the backdrop of the raging COVID-19 pandemic saw a historic victory, with Team USA’s Sunisa Lee winning the gold medal in the women’s all-around gymnastics category.

Team USA confirmed the win on Thursday.



This follows the USA Women’s Gymnastics Team winning a silver medal earlier this week. 

CNN notes that Lee scored 57.433, beating out Brazil’s Rebeca Andrade and Russia’s Angelina Melnikova. 

Her other scores include a 14.600 on the vault, 13.833 on the balance beam and 15.300 on uneven bars. With these scores propelling her to win the gold, Lee becomes the first Hmong American athlete to win a gold medal.

The Hmong are an Indigenous group from the mountainous regions of southern China, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand. U.S. Census data counts just more than 260,000 Hmong Americans living in the county.

California and Minnesota are the states with the largest Hmong communities — with the latter being home to Lee herself. 

Lee retweeted a photo of her reaction to her win, calling the moment “unreal.”

Published on Jul 29, 2021