x
Breaking News
More () »

Suni Lee's family gathers to watch their champion compete on the balance beam

Tuesday morning family members sat together in St. Paul, hoping Lee would win her fourth Olympic medal.

ST PAUL, Minn. — Gathered around the TV in a St. Paul home, Suni Lee's family was awake at 4 a.m. Tuesday, waiting for the hometown champion to compete in the individual balance beam final.

Lee already won three gymnastics medals at the Tokyo games, one gold in the all-around, one team silver and one bronze in the uneven bars. 

As she took the floor alongside U.S. teammate Simone Biles, fans up bright and early across the metro were cheering for the 18-year-old gymnast.

Hopes were sky-high for Lee since the beam is one of her signature events. She was awarded the third-highest score in qualifications (14.200), behind two athletes from China.

Biles competed first with a strong showing, and looked happy and confident following her routine. 

Suni struggled a little on beam and at one point came close to falling off. But she held on and was able to complete her routine with a solid score of 13.86, though it wasn't enough to place her in the top three.

In the end, Simone Biles came away with a bronze medal. 

While Suni Lee wasn't able to leave the competition with another piece of hardware, her family isn't any less proud of the colossal effort it took to carry her all the way to Tokyo from their home in St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Watch Gia Vang's interview with Suni's parents here:

From NBC Olympics: Simone Biles shined the spotlight on mental health at the Olympic Games. But she's not the only Team USA athlete speaking out about the pressure to perform. Anne Thompson looks at the mental toll athletes experience.