Suni Lee August 27, 2023; San Jose, California, USA; Sunisa Lee performs on the balance beam during the 2023 U.S. Gymnastics Championships at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY

The end of gold Olympic gold medalist Suni Lee’s collegiate career came to an end in April when she discovered she had a kidney issue.

The Auburn gymnast said she had gained 45 pounds and was not cleared by the school’s doctors.

Lee detailed her illness.

“I couldn’t fit into any of my clothes,” Lee said, per Josh Peter, USA Today. “My eyes were swollen shut. It was just so scary.”

She arrived on Thursday looking like her typical self that earned her countless accolades in addition to her 2020 Olympic Gold Medal. In those same Tokyo Games, the 20-year-old also earned a Silver Medal for Team USA and a Bronze Medal on bars. She also won several World and US Championships.

Too many too list, but you get the picture.

“I haven’t had a really bad day in a while,” Lee said. “But in the beginning it was like I was waking up swollen. My fingers were so swollen they wouldn’t fit into my grips and I couldn’t hold on to the bar.”

“I’ve never had health issues before, so waking up one random Tuesday of the week and you just can’t even recognize yourself is so scary,” she added.

While Lee didn’t give the specifics of the issue, or discuss any medial treatments she was receiving, she did say her diet has changed. Consuming less sodium because it retains water.

She said she was feeling good.

Lee is confident in her decision to leave Auburn, but only because she wanted to concentrate on the upcoming Olympics in 2024.

“Obviously the Olympics are always going to be in the back of my head,” she said. “But I wake up every morning and I’m not like, ‘Today’s going to get me to the Olympics.’… I’m not trying to think too far ahead. because that can just add a lot of unwanted pressure and stress.”

[USA Today]


About Jessica Kleinschmidt

Jess is a baseball fan with Reno, Nev. roots residing in the Bay Area. She is the host of "Short and to the Point" and is also a broadcaster with the Oakland A's Radio Network. She previously worked for and NBC Sports Bay Area.