The school expertise is a making an attempt time for any younger grownup because the comforts of life at residence lastly give solution to a semblance of maturity.
For many, it’s the primary time being self-sufficient, and the primary yr in school may be difficult.
Throw in being world-famous with 1.7 million followers on Instagram and an Olympic gold medalist, and the faculty expertise might be downright daunting.
For gymnast Suni Lee, the person all-around gold medalist on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the first yr at Auburn College actually offered some challenges.
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“All people knew who I used to be, so it was form of arduous for me to depart my home,” Lee informed Fox Information Digital about arriving in Auburn. “Folks discovered the place I lived. They have been knocking on my door. Like, there’s lots of ups and downs to it, however I really like Auburn and I really like the Auburn household.
“Everybody at Auburn is so good, so candy, tremendous supportive. The meets are all bought out. So it was actually thrilling final yr.”
Lee’s first season at Auburn was a powerful success. She turned an NCAA champion on the steadiness beam, an SEC champion on the bars and runner-up within the NCAA within the all-around.
Lee was named NCAA first-team All-American, SEC Freshman of the 12 months and All-SEC in her first yr with the Tigers.
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She additionally has turn into the 10th most precious NIL athlete in school, which incorporates her newest partnership with Clif Bar and the VOICEINSPORT Basis, which goals to assist increase participation amongst girls in all ranges of sport.
“I am partnering with Clif and the nonprofit group VOICEINSPORT Basis to assist shut the chance hole in sports activities and assist girls at essential growth phases of their sports activities journey,” Lee mentioned. “Clif is pledging funds to speed up the VOICEINSPORT advocacy program and assist the institution of 20 VOICEINSPORT Basis advocacy chapters and 20 Title IX trainings on faculty campuses throughout the US.”
Lee informed Fox Information Digital she struggled with “imposter syndrome” throughout her first yr at Auburn as she tried to do one thing that had by no means been tried earlier than.
Lee is the primary gymnast to compete on the school stage after successful the gold medal within the particular person all-around on the Olympic Video games.
FLASHBACK: SUNI LEE WINS OLYMPIC GOLD IN GYMNASTICS INDIVIDUAL ALL-AROUND
“The strain, I believe, was what obtained to me as a result of going from an Olympic gold medalist to competing in school is 2 various things,” Lee mentioned. “And I believe everybody simply anticipated me to form of go to Auburn and win all the pieces.”
“And at the back of my head, I am like, ‘I should not have even gained the Olympics. Like, I did not need to. The opposite women ought to have gained.’”
Lee mentioned the “imposter syndrome” partially stemmed from the circumstances of the 2020 Olympics when celebrity Simone Biles withdrew from a number of competitions.
Biles entered her second Olympic Video games with sky-high expectations as she was routinely known as the best gymnast of all time.
However Biles withdrew from a number of occasions — citing her psychological well being and the “twisties” — together with the all-around competitors, which Lee gained.
“I believe that had one thing to do with it,” Lee informed Fox Information Digital. “Simply because, the years earlier than in Olympic trials and all of that stuff, it was like, ‘I am competing for second as a result of all of us knew Simone was going to win.’
“So each single time I’m going right into a meet, me and my coach have been like, ‘We’re simply competing for second. We’re competing to win bars.’ And bars is one factor that I wished to win. So going into the Olympics, I am like, ‘OK, [I’m] simply competing for second and competing to win bars and hopefully medal in anything we will get and clearly crew.’ That was simply the mindset that I believe I simply let get too far into my head.”
Within the time since successful the gold medal in Tokyo, Lee had been uncertain if she wished to proceed competing on the highest stage, undecided if she wished to attempt for the 2024 Olympic crew in Paris.
Final week, Lee made her determination, saying on social media that the upcoming season at Auburn shall be her final as she makes an attempt to make the Olympic crew for 2024 and defend her all-around title.
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“Behind my thoughts, I believe final yr, simply form of watching the entire women compete at world championships, it simply form of obtained me extra excited,” Lee mentioned. “And I believe, at the back of my thoughts, I at all times inform myself that I have not reached my peak but, and it is not time for me to be accomplished competing for Staff USA.
“And in addition, I simply wish to go on the market and show to myself that I can be capable of do it. As a result of on the final Olympics, I stored convincing myself that I should not have gained. And I believe this time I wish to go into the Olympics higher than I used to be final time and to do it for myself and my coaches as a result of it is as soon as in a lifetime. And I simply did not need it to be as soon as in a lifetime.”
She’ll try to take action considerably extra widespread than at her first Olympic Video games and with the world now aiming to knock her off the throne versus Lee seemingly popping out of nowhere.
SUNI LEE TALKS PRESSURE-PACKED FRESHMEN YEAR AFTER WINNING OLYMPIC GOLD, HOW SHE’S ABLE TO BALANCE STRESSES
Lee is aware of that there shall be a special stage of consideration on her in Paris now that she’s a family title, however she additionally says being a gold medalist doesn’t change the quantity of labor required to defend her title.
“I believe in some features I form of have to have a look at it in another way as a result of final time I wasn’t an Olympic gold medalist. … I’ve to work and work and work till I can’t anymore,” Lee informed Fox Information Digital.
“I believe with the bodily side, after all, I’ve to simply maintain pushing, working, being higher than I used to be yesterday. And with the psychological simply entering into with ‘I am Suni. I am not going to do something extra, something much less, and I am simply going to go on the market and do what I am alleged to do.'”
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