Suni Lee Confronted Nervousness and Impostor Syndrome After Successful Tokyo Olympic Gold

Suni Lee experienced impostor syndrome

Picture Supply: Getty / Tim Clayton / Corbis

Olympic gymnast Suni Lee has a resumé of accomplishments a mile lengthy. She claimed the all-around gold medal in women’s artistic gymnastics eventually summer season’s Tokyo Olympics and received the bronze on bars (arguably her greatest occasion) and silver in the team competition. Plus, she’s the primary Hmong American to qualify for the Olympics and the first Asian American woman to win Olympic all-around gold. Regardless of her many achievements, Lee’s transition from the Olympics to collegiate gymnastics at Auburn College did not come with out its struggles.

In an interview with ESPN, Lee stated that she skilled impostor syndrome. “That is precisely what I’ve,” Lee defined. “It was very arduous for me to inspire myself the primary couple of weeks right here as a result of it was like I did not need to do gymnastics, I hated it.” She battled doubt about whether or not she deserved to win gold — doubt that “hits my soul.”

Lee spoke to POPSUGAR concerning the mounting stress from sudden fame in our November 2021 cover story. “All eyes are going to be on not solely me, however my complete faculty crew,” she stated on the time. Auburn head coach Jeff Graba additional acknowledged that stress, telling ESPN that their competitions additionally noticed record-setting crowds.

Lee revealed, too, that she was nearly pushed to sit down out of competitions. “I’d have anxiousness assaults on the meets,” she stated. “Like the primary couple of the meets of this season, I used to be a wreck as a result of it was like fixed screaming my identify and like, ‘Suni, can you are taking an image?’ or ‘Are you able to signal an autograph?’ whereas I am making an attempt to pay attention.” She recalled one occasion the place she was respiration closely and shaking throughout competitors warmups.

“When everyone expects you to be good for Auburn, it is actually arduous for me simply mentally, as a result of I already put a lot stress on myself . . .” Lee continued, including that the additional stress makes her “simply form of break.”

Lee stated journaling helps to mitigate a few of her anxiousness (see a web page out of her journal above!). Regardless of her preliminary hardships, she shines on the college-gymnastics stage, and her scores communicate for themselves. She’s earned three good 10.00s thus far — two on beam and one on bars. After her first collegiate 10.00, Lee told POPSUGAR that celebrating along with her crew was “simply pure happiness.”


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