Suni Lee Qualifies for 2024 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team Despite Health Challenges

In 2023, Suni Lee found out she suffers from an incurable kidney disease, per 'TODAY'.


Jul. 1 2024, Updated 1:21 p.m. ET

Sunisa Lee smiles prior to competing in the 2024 Core Hydration Classic at XL Center.
Source: Getty Images

Following her overall performance at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, Suni Lee, whose full name is Sunisa, is already an Olympic gold medalist. However, Suni is not content to rest on her laurels and has continued competing in the years since she won that gold medal.

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Earlier in 2023, Suni Lee announced she would have to end her sophomore season at Auburn early due to a health issue. Now that Suni has returned to competing, and secured a spot on the 2024 U.S. Olympic gymnastics team thanks to her impeccable performance at the summer trials, many are curious about her current health status. Here’s the latest update.

Suni Lee competing in the 2024 Olympic trials.
Source: Getty Images
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What is the state of Suni Lee's health?

Suni Lee delivered a stellar performance at the 2024 U.S. Olympic team trials for gymnastics on June 30, 2024, securing her place on the Olympic team. During her routine, she earned two standing ovations: the first came after she excelled in the floor exercise with a score of 13.850, according to the U.S. Olympics official website, and the second followed her impressive double-twisting Yurchenko vault.

Afterward, Suni opened up to the TODAY regarding how her incurable kidney disease, which she was diagnosed with in 2023, impacted her throughout the trials. “It was such a hard, incredible journey. There were so many times where I thought about quitting and just giving up because I was so sick, and, like, it was just so hard to, like, stay motivated."

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She shared, "You know watching everybody get better and I can’t even get back into the gym, and constantly, like, self-doubting myself. But once I had those people around me who lifted me up and supported me, I knew that this was something that I wanted." It seems her determination and the support she received helped propel her to the next level.

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Suni Lee has been dealing with kidney issues for months.

Suni first announced that she was dealing with kidney issues in April of 2023, saying at the time that they were unrelated to gymnastics.

“It’s been challenging to end my Auburn career early, but I am thankful for all the love and support,” she said at the time. “I will not stop pursuing my dreams for a bid to Paris in 2024. In fact, this experience has sharpened my vision for the future.”

Source: Twitter/@sunisalee
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Suni has not gone into detail about what her kidney issues are, but has said that the health issue shave impacted her performance in multiple ways.

“I have been in and out of the gym just because there’s just so many doctor’s appointments, and I’m taking a lot of medication, so it kind of varies every day,” Suni explained in an interview.

“I could wake up very swollen some days and not be able to put my fingers inside my grips. It’s really difficult to kind of work through, but on the days that I can do stuff and I am feeling good, I try and take advantage of that and just get everything done," she added.

Suni added that, before the kidney issues, she was in extraordinary shape.

“In January and February, I was probably in the best shape that I’ve been in, I was really strong,” she said. “I was coming up with new skills, combos, it was really exciting."

While it's clear that Suni's kidney issues can impact her both on and off the mat, she remains determined to push past the boundaries they impose.

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