Suni Lee failed to win gold on the uneven bars and blamed the 'mess up' on spending too much time on social media

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·4 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Suni Lee.
Suni Lee poses with her uneven bars bronze medal. AP Photo/Ashley Landis
  • Suni Lee earned a bronze medal in the women's gymnastics uneven bars final at the Tokyo Olympics.

  • The 18-year-old was unhappy with the result, saying she was sad to "mess it up like this."

  • Lee said spending too much time on social media was to blame and vowed to delete Twitter.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

For the vast majority of people, and even the vast majority of top-notch athletes, winning an Olympic medal of any color is an incredible accomplishment.

But for Suni Lee - the surprise individual all-around champion of the Tokyo Olympics - anything less than gold on the uneven bars was disappointing. Her words, not ours:

Suni Lee competes on uneven bars
USA's Sunisa Lee reacts after competing in the uneven bars event of the artistic gymnastics women's team final. LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images

"Bars is something I really cherish," Lee said after Sunday's final, per the Associated Press. "So when I mess it up, it really sucks."

Video: Gymnast Katelyn Ohashi rates Hollywood gymnastics stunts

She further explained that she thinks her newest Olympic hardware is "really cool" but that she'd prefer if "the bronze medal was a beam medal, not bars."

"This medal probably means more to me than the all-around gold medal did, just because bars is my thing," she added, per People. "To mess it up like this, I was just kind of sad about it."

Sunisa Lee competes in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics
Sunisa Lee won gold for Team USA in all-around gymnastics. Jamie Squire / Getty Images

Lee was the heavy favorite entering Sunday's uneven bars final, but an early mistake and an uncharacteristically uneven routine left room for Germany's Nina Derwael and Russian Olympic Committee athlete Anastasiia Iliankova to edge her out for first and second place, respectively.

The St. Paul, Minnesota, native said her less-than-stellar showing was due, at least in part, to the fact that she "got distracted and lost focus a little bit when I won the gold medal" in the all-around three days earlier. She spent a lot of time on social media, where she's gained a massive following during her brief stay in Tokyo.

Suni Lee.
Suni Lee takes a selfie. AP Photo/Gregory Bull

On Instagram alone, Lee has added nearly 1 million followers since the games began, per the AP. Her Twitter and TikTok accounts have seen similar surges - especially after the all-around win - which prompted her to pay it more attention than in the past.

But in the lead-up to Tuesday's balance beam final - the last women's gymnastics event of these Olympics - Lee vowed to "stay off social media for a little bit."

"I'll probably cool down a little bit and just focus on what I need to do especially because we're coming to the end," she said. "I want to just do the best I can and end it off good."

Sunisa Lee of Team United States competes on balance beam during the Women's All-Around Final at the Tokyo Olympics
The US has won the event at every Olympics since 2004 Jamie Squire/Getty Images

"I'm probably going to delete Twitter," Lee added. "Instagram is not as bad because I can't really see what people say, but [on] Twitter it's just so easy to see everything. So I'm probably going to have to end up deleting that."

TikTok, she admitted, would be the exception.

"TikTok is my getaway app," she said. "It's just so fun."

 

But like many of us who have aspired to unplug for a while, Lee never deleted her social accounts. She's posted tweets, Instagram stories, and TikToks in the days since earning bronze. 

Lee will look to add to her gold, silver, and bronze medals from these games in the balance beam final Tuesday at 4:53 a.m. ET. She'll be joined by superstar teammate Simone Biles, the greatest gymnast of all time, who will look to medal in her first event back since withdrawing from the team all-around final due to mental health concerns exactly one week prior.

Read the original article on Insider