In a video posted on her Twitter account, 2020 Olympic gold medalist Suni Lee announced that this upcoming season will be her last competing for Auburn University gymnastics. Lee stated that she will be leaving collegiate gymnastics in order to focus on training for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.
"As an athlete that has competed at that highest level on the world's biggest stage, I have been fortunate enough to experience the once-in-a-lifetime feeling, and the indescribable emotion when a gold medal is draped around your neck. But I don't want it to be just once in a lifetime," Lee said.
"To every little girl whose circumstances have dictated your future but you pushed beyond them, I see you. I did it and you can do it too. Because really, nothing is impossible.
Lee began her career at Auburn in Aug. 2021 following the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The 19-year old helped lead the Tigers to the NCAA women's gymnastics championships in April, where the school finished fourth in the team final.
"To the Auburn family, my teammates, coaches, staff and supporters, thank you," Lee added. "This special place will always be a part of me and my journey. And I will always be an Auburn Tiger. War Eagle!"
Lee will train with Jeff Graba -- her head coach at Auburn, as well as his sister, Jess Graba. Jess Graba owns Midwest Gymnastics and has been coaching Lee since she was six years old.
"It's a big decision," Jess Graba told KARE 11. "I feel like that's the job of the coach is to help guide the athlete and if that's what she wants to do then we're in for another couple of years."
"My brother will help at Auburn. He and his coaching staff are really good at cooperating with us, and with Suni, so that they'll tweak her routine so that she's kind of training there too. So her routines won't be traditional NCAA routines; they'll be a little upgraded and maybe giving her some chances to try some new skills and new things which will help."
Lee became a superstar during the Tokyo Olympics as she won a gold medal in the individual all-around event. She also won a silver medal in the women's team final as well as a bronze in the individual uneven bars event.
In the 2024 Summer Olympics, Lee will attempt to become the first back-to-back individual all-around champion at the Olympics since Věra Čáslavská accomplished the rare feat in the 1964 and 1968 Games.