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Suni Lee is officially an Olympic gold medalist—and while fans around the world and her teammates are flipping out over the news—there's probably no one prouder than her parents.
Just moments after the Team USA gymnast won the all-around competition on July 29, the Today show caught up with the teenage athlete's parents, John Lee and Yeev Thoj, who watched their daughter's victorious performance from their home in Minnesota.
"I almost cried and I never cry," John told Today co-anchor Hoda Kotb. "I'm so happy she won."
At just 18 years old, Suni is the first Hmong American to compete and win a gold medal in the Olympics. The athlete earned a score of 57.44 to secure her victory, which in turn defended the United States winning streak that began at the 2004 Olympics.
It's a full-circle moment for John, who built his daughter a balance beam in their backyard when she was a little girl.
"I said, ‘Okay, we have something special,'" John recalled of her early years in gymnastics. "So, I knew she was going to go pretty far, but I didn't expect the gold." As he sweetly said, "I'm so glad I built that beam for her."
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Suni Lee's dad reacts to daughter's gold medal performance: 'I'm so proud of her'<a href="https://t.co/0pYD34UEfK">https://t.co/0pYD34UEfK</a></p>— TODAY (@TODAYshow) <a href="https://twitter.com/TODAYshow/status/1420749171661807622?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">July 29, 2021</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
While chatting with co-host Craig Melvin, John also shared some sweet words of encouragement for Suni's teammate, Simone Biles, who withdrew from the finals and all-around competition earlier this week.
"I want to tell her team that no matter what, you all support her," he shared. "I want to tell Simone that she truly is the GOAT because she let my baby girl bring the gold medal."
Watch 2020 Tokyo Olympics coverage every day on NBC and Peacock.