FORT WORTH, Texas — Editor's note: The above video is from September 2019.
Twin Cities gymnast Sunisa Lee is one step closer to the Olympics, after wowing crowds at the U.S. Championships.
The competition was Friday night in Forth Worth, Texas. Lee, a St. Paul gymnast who's aiming for the Olympic Trials in three weeks and the Tokyo Games in less than two months, came in second "all-around" behind Simone Biles.
Lee, competing on a balky ankle that's forced her to walk with a noticeable limp any time she's not competing, started with a spectacular series on uneven bars — where she’s one of the best in the world — and hung in there the rest of the way. Her score of 57.35 thrust her back into the Olympic conversation, one that seemed iffy after some shaky moments last month. While she was second overall, Lee took first in uneven bars on Friday with a 15.300.
NBC Olympics shared a video of Lee's performance on Twitter, calling it "next level."
While Simone Biles, who took first at the U.S. Championships, is all but a shoo-in for the U.S. Olympic team, the athletes who will fill out the rest of the women's team is not as clear. Lee, a three-time world championship medalist in 2019 and one of the best uneven bars competitors on the planet, is in the running and attempting to grit her teeth through an ankle issue that's slowed her training.
Grace McCallum, a native of Isanti, Minnesota who now competes at the University of Utah, finished seventh overall, guaranteeing herself a spot at the Olympic trials.
Lee's father is partially paralyzed after falling from a ladder in 2019. He told KARE 11 at that time that he was determined to recover enough to go to Tokyo, if his daughter qualifies for the Olympics.