Suni Lee opens up about ‘impostor syndrome’ as she prepares for the 2024 Paris Olympics

the the college expertise is a tough second for any younger grownup because the comforts of life at house lastly give strategy to a semblance of maturity.

For many, it is their first time being self-sufficient, and the primary yr of college might be difficult.

Sunisa Lee of the United States reacts as she poses for a photo after winning the gold medal in the women's artistic gymnastics final at the 2020 Summer Olympics on July 29, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.

Sunisa Lee of america reacts as she poses for a photograph after successful the gold medal within the girls’s inventive gymnastics ultimate on the 2020 Summer time Olympics on July 29, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
(AP Picture/Gregory Bull)

Turn into well-known worldwide with 1.7 million Instagram followers and a Olympic gold medaland the school expertise could possibly be downright daunting.

For gymnast Suni Lee, particular person all-around gold medalist on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the freshman yr at Auburn College it actually offered some challenges.

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“Everybody knew who I used to be, so it was onerous for me to go away my home,” Lee instructed Fox Information Digital of arriving in Auburn. “Individuals discovered the place I lived. They had been knocking on my door. Like, there’s a whole lot of ups and downs, however I really like Auburn and I really like the Auburn household.

“Everybody in Auburn is so good, so candy, tremendous supportive. The conferences are all offered out. So it was actually thrilling final yr.”

Suni Lee speaks on stage as Glamor celebrates the 2022 Women of the Year Awards on November 1, 2022 in New York City.

Suni Lee speaks on stage as Glamor celebrates the 2022 Girls of the 12 months Awards on November 1, 2022 in New York Metropolis.
(Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Photographs for Glamour)

Lee’s first season at Auburn was a convincing success. She turned an NCAA champion on stability beam, an SEC champion on bars and runner-up within the NCAA all-around.

Lee was named an NCAA first-team All-American, SEC Freshman of the 12 months, and an All-SEC in her first yr with the Tigers.

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She additionally turned the tenth NIL Most Useful Athlete in faculty, which incorporates her newest partnership with Clif Bar and the VOICEINSPORT Basis, which goals to assist develop participation amongst girls in any respect ranges of sports activities.

“I am partnering with Clif and the nonprofit VOICEINSPORT Basis to assist shut the chance hole in sports activities and assist girls within the essential developmental phases of their sporting journey,” stated Lee. “Clif is committing funds to speed up the VOICEINSPORT advocacy program and assist the institution of 20 VOICEINSPORT Basis advocacy chapters and 20 Title IX trainings on college campuses throughout america.”

Lee instructed Fox Information Digital that he struggled with “impostor syndrome” throughout his freshman yr at Auburn whereas trying one thing that had by no means been tried earlier than.

Auburn's Suni Lee during the individual all-around at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas on April 14, 2022.

Auburn’s Suni Lee throughout the person all-around at Dickies Enviornment in Fort Value, Texas on April 14, 2022.
(Greg Nelson/Sports activities Illustrated through Getty Photographs)

Lee is the primary gymnast to compete on the varsity degree after successful the gold medal within the particular person all-around on the Olympic Video games.

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“The strain, I believe what acquired into me as a result of going from an Olympic gold medalist to competing in faculty are two various things,” Lee stated. “And I believe everybody anticipated me to go to Auburn and win every part.”

“And behind my head, I am like, ‘I should not have even received the Olympics. Like, I did not deserve that. The opposite ladies ought to have received.'”

Lee stated the “impostor syndrome” stemmed partly from the circumstances of the 2020 Olympics when celebrity Simone Biles retired from a number of competitions.

Biles entered her second Olympics with sky-high expectations as she was commonly known as the best gymnast of all time.

Sunisa Lee of the Auburn Tigers and Mya Hooten of the Minnesota Golden Gophers tie for fourth place on floor exercise during the Division I Women's Gymnastics Championships at Dickies Arena on April 14, 2022, in Fort Worth, Texas.

Sunisa Lee of the Auburn Tigers and Mya Hooten of the Minnesota Golden Gophers tie for fourth place on ground train throughout the Division I Girls’s Gymnastics Championships at Dickies Enviornment on April 14, 2022, in Fort Value, Texas.
(Picture by C. Morgan Engel/NCAA through Getty Photographs)

However Biles withdrew from a number of occasions — citing her psychological well being and “twisties” — together with the all-around competitors, which Lee received.

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“I believe it has one thing to do with it,” Lee instructed Fox Information Digital. “Simply because, the years earlier than within the Olympic trials and all that, he was like, ‘I am racing for second as a result of all of us knew Simone was going to win.’

“So each single time I’m going to a struggle, my coach and I had been like, ‘We’re simply racing for second. We’re racing to win bars.’ And bars are one factor I needed to win. So going to the Olympics, I am like, ‘OK, [I’m] simply competing for second and competing to win bars and hopefully medals in anything we will get and naturally group.’ That was simply the mindset that I believe I let an excessive amount of into my head.”

Since successful the gold medal in Tokyo, Lee hasn’t been positive if she desires to proceed competing on the prime degree, undecided if she desires to check out for the 2024 Olympic group in Paris.

Final week, Lee made her choice, asserting on social media that the upcoming season at Auburn can be her final as she makes an attempt to make the 2024 Olympic group and defend her title within the all-around.

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Olympic gymnast Suni Lee throws the first pitch before a game between the Minnesota Twins and the Toronto Blue Jays on August 5, 2022, at Target Field in Minneapolis.

Olympic gymnast Suni Lee throws the primary pitch earlier than a sport between the Minnesota Twins and the Toronto Blue Jays on August 5, 2022, at Goal Discipline in Minneapolis.
(Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Photographs)

“At the back of my thoughts, I believe final yr, simply watching all the women compete on the world championships, simply excited me extra,” Lee stated. “And I believe, behind my thoughts, I at all times inform myself that I have not reached my pinnacle but, and it isn’t the time for me to cease racing for Staff USA.

“And in addition, I simply need to go on the market and show to myself that I can be capable to do it. As a result of on the final Olympics, I saved convincing myself that I should not have received. And I believe this time I need to go to the Olympics higher than the final time and do it for me and my coaches as a result of it is as soon as in a lifetime. And I did not need it to be as soon as in a lifetime.”

She’s going to try to take action considerably extra in style than her first Olympic Video games and with the world now aiming to topple her from the throne as an alternative of Lee seemingly popping out of nowhere.

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Lee is aware of there can be a distinct degree of consideration paid to her in Paris now that she’s a family identify, however she additionally says being a gold medalist would not change the quantity of labor required to defend her title.

Sunisa Lee of the Auburn Tigers competes in the floor exercise during the Division I Women's Gymnastics Championships at Dickies Arena on April 16, 2022 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Sunisa Lee of the Auburn Tigers competes within the ground train throughout the Division I Girls’s Gymnastics Championships at Dickies Enviornment on April 16, 2022, in Fort Value, Texas.
(Picture by C. Morgan Engel/NCAA through Getty Photographs)

“I believe in some respects I ought to have a look at it otherwise as a result of I wasn’t an Olympic gold medalist final time. … I’ve to work and work and work till I am unable to anymore,” Lee instructed Fox Information Digital.

“I believe with the bodily facet, after all, I simply should maintain pushing, working, being higher than I used to be yesterday. And with the psychological facet simply getting into with ‘I am Suni. I am not going to do anything, something much less, and I’ll go there out and I am going to do what I am purported to do.'”