Sunisa Lee stepped into the tiny/huge footsteps of the great Simone Biles to capture the all-around title at the Tokyo Games on her Olympic debut. The 18-year-old becomes the first Hmong American to win an Olympic medal with a performance that was cheered to the rafters by friends and family back home in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The Brazilian Rebecca Andrade took the lead after the opening vault but a confident performance in her favorite event, the uneven bars, put Lee ahead and despite showing a few nerves on the beam she closed it out with a technically demanding floor routine starting with a double-twisting double back. Andrade, who twice landed out of bounds on the floor, took the silver with Russian Angelina Melnikova claiming bronze. It is the fifth straight American victory in the women’s all-around. Biles, who won the title in Rio, pulled out on Wednesday because of mental-health issues.