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Suni Lee becoming role model to young gymnasts

Published: Aug. 3, 2021 at 6:46 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 3, 2021 at 8:40 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - A St. Paul native knows what it’s like to hear her nation’s anthem played on the biggest stage in the world, but what she doesn’t know is that her efforts have made her a role model to young gymnasts in her home state.

“I think it is really inspiring that she is from Minnesota because that is where I am from. Then it just inspires me to do better every day,” Mankato Area Gymnastics Schools Xcel group member Madisyn Murphy said

“I think she is someone to look up to with our gymnastic career,” Mankato Area Gymnastics School JO group member Emma Tuwei said.

“She has gone through a lot of things outside of the gym with her family and she is still where she is,” Mankato Area Gymnastics School Xcel group member Jocelyn Wills said.

Suni Lee has made it known that anyone can work to the break of dawn and come out victorious.

No matter where they are from and no matter how big the stage is.

“She started out where we all were as a young kid, doing a sport that she loves and ending up so far,” Murphy said.

“I think that going to the Olympics is really something I could look up to,” Tuwei said.

“She came from where we are from and in the same state and started out where we were and just kept going,” Mankato Area Gymnastics School Xcel group member Adeline Lenway said.

A lot of young gymnasts are taking notice and are willing to work for their goals, just like Lee and fellow Minnesota native and Olympic teammate Grace McCallum.

Especially at Mankato Area Gymnastics School.

“I hope it motivates all of our athletes and all of our gymnasts and makes them realize with hard work and determination they can get there as well,” Mankato Area Gymnastics School co-owner Stacy Latzke said.

“In practice, you need to make sure that every turn counts,” Mankato Area Gymnastics School JO group member Madison Pike said.

“You definitely do miss out on some things like hanging out with friends sometimes, but it’s worth it,” Mankato Area Gymnastics School JO group member Elizabeth Knox said.

MAGS coach Sydney Soczek says that Lee and McCallum are impacting their school more than they will ever know.

“That a gym up in the cities close to so many people that she is touching and being able to show that her story is still there. That her workouts are just inspiring and being able to bring stuff that we learned from that gym and bring that down here to start training our girls.”

One thing is for sure, these two Minnesota Olympians will get the best homecoming.

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