Suni Lee Admits She Nearly Quit Gymnastics After Kidney Disease Diagnosis


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Suni Lee‘s journey to the 2024 Paris Olympics was harder than what most athletes have been through. The 21-year-old gymnast appeared on TODAY alongside her teammates — Simone Biles, Jordan Chiles, Jade Carey and Hezly Rivera — and opened up about the difficult battle she endured after being diagnosed with two forms of kidney disease.

“We didn’t think I would be here,” she admitted, referring to her current status as a member of the 2024 U.S. Olympic team. “So, getting through all of those events and … everything that we had to go through this week to get to where we are right now, it was just such a hard, incredible journey.”

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Suni then explained how she got through the moments of self-doubt, recalling the “many times where I thought about quitting and just giving up because I was so sick, and it was just so hard to stay motivated, watching everybody get better.”

“And I’m just like, ‘I can’t even get back into the gym’ and constantly doubting myself,” she added.

Suni won the women’s individual All-Around competition at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Shortly thereafter, she enrolled at Auburn University to compete with the school’s gymnastics team. However, by her sophomore year, she left due to her health condition. In early 2023, Suni noticed that she had swelling around her body and had gained around 40 pounds. Doctors subsequently discovered that the athlete had an incurable kidney disease. However, she was determined to get back on the floor for gymnastics training.

In August 2023, Suni shared a positive update with her Instagram followers, noting how “blessed and so so grateful” she was to get back to competing at an elite level.

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Suni Lee‘s journey to the 2024 Paris Olympics was harder than what most athletes have been through. The 21-year-old gymnast appeared on TODAY alongside her teammates — Simone Biles, Jordan Chiles, Jade Carey and Hezly Rivera — and opened up about the difficult battle she endured after being diagnosed with two forms of kidney disease.

“We didn’t think I would be here,” she admitted, referring to her current status as a member of the 2024 U.S. Olympic team. “So, getting through all of those events and … everything that we had to go through this week to get to where we are right now, it was just such a hard, incredible journey.”

Suni then explained how she got through the moments of self-doubt, recalling the “many times where I thought about quitting and just giving up because I was so sick, and it was just so hard to stay motivated, watching everybody get better.”

“And I’m just like, ‘I can’t even get back into the gym’ and constantly doubting myself,” she added.

Suni won the women’s individual All-Around competition at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. Shortly thereafter, she enrolled at Auburn University to compete with the school’s gymnastics team. However, by her sophomore year, she left due to her health condition. In early 2023, Suni noticed that she had swelling around her body and had gained around 40 pounds. Doctors subsequently discovered that the athlete had an incurable kidney disease. However, she was determined to get back on the floor for gymnastics training.

In August 2023, Suni shared a positive update with her Instagram followers, noting how “blessed and so so grateful” she was to get back to competing at an elite level.

Author: Clara
"Greetings! I am a media graduate with a diverse background in the news industry. From working as a reporter to producing content, I have a well-rounded understanding of the field and a drive to stay at the forefront of the industry." When I'm not writing content, I'm Playing and enjoying with my Kids.

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