Suni Lee Thread; latest: confirms one more season at Auburn and then Olympic bid

Can’t currently perform a Yurchenko Full.

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that sucks… I wonder if she should do the piked version instead of going for the layout

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I doubt she has trained them in pike position. She was doing front layout first then front layout half.
Definitely not something to play with with one, potentially two meets left.
As long as she gets enough height she will score about 9.9.

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I dont see her scoring that high, vault is her worst event this year. I mean her average is below that for the season and she only scored 9.825 and 9.875 at regionals and 9.875 at SECs. If anything scoring is supposed to get tighter at nationals. Although she certainly has the potential and if Auburn is going to have any shot, she is going to have to get 9.9+ for their vault rotation.

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It looks pretty good here:

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I feel like if she learns to combine the power she was showing when she was bouncing out of them with the landing, she’ll do okay. The video above shows improvement. She needs to get more up with her block than the ones that were bouncing (or the ones that were more controlled but with less amplitude), but to have a feel for the needed rate of rotation when she gets the additional flight.

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New podcast revelations causing much kerfuffle

Suni says at about ten minutes in that she wants to train for 2024. She’s doing her current classes basically to stay eligible, and wouldn’t necessarily go back after another Olympics. Amongst various other things. I’ve only listened to that bit but I understand she was also talking about throwing up before going on DWTS, all rather concerning.

I wonder if the desire to return to the Olympics is so that they have the “normal” experience.

With Covid in 2020 and the hectic 2021 schedule, plus no live audience, not being able to leave Olympic village, not being able to mingle with other Olympians, families watching at home, and overall not a fun meet in terms of the team. Qualifications was a stress ball and team finals was obviously not ideal. Seems like it was more disappointing than fun.

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I think it’s fair to say there’s also some unfinished business there with most of them. Not Suni so much, although maybe she wants another punt at the team title. But the alternates of course, and then Jordan and Grace would probably have hoped to come back as gold medallists. Both could also have showcased their ability better.

But also, this is what’s common in a lot of other sports, and even in WAG for lots of countries outside the US. Athletes often have longer careers, with the ones who are at the top and can stay healthy aiming to get to multiple Games. So perhaps we’re just seeing American WAG travel towards that norm, particularly as it’s now more possible to combine earning some money with getting an education alongside it. We have already seen the most successful American WAGs of the last decade do two Olympics, so perhaps this is what the pattern is going to be now.

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As a uni lecturer I’m torn between annoyance and admiration for refreshing honesty to hear her say

“…I’m just doing school to keep my eligibility”
“…not doing it to get a degree because I’m trying to build off my future…”

Though the Olympics didn’t have an audience, I think the Americans competed in front of crowds more than any other team in 2021.

I agree with ArnoldRimmer that continuing after a first Olympics is becoming much more common in WAG. I certainly have to keep checking myself when I make assumptions that x will be retiring now. My weekly gym zoom party rewatched 2013 FX EF last year and at the time five of the gymnasts were still active (I challenge you to name them without looking!). This was across five countries and is pretty impressive for eight years (well seven without the pandemic) later.

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NIL also is a HUGE incentive to do another Olympics. Athletes can take endorsements now and maintain NCAA eligibility. This is the first group that this has happened for.

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I get the sense the Olympics lit a fire under Suni. I wonder if winning the AA paradoxically made her hungrier for more, now that she’s seen that she can win and win big as an individual. And reap the benefits of those wins.

The timing is … interesting, though. I’m not sure how I’d feel if I were a teammate hearing those comments during finals week. Maybe they totally get it, but I could also imagine it being a bit of a downer to hear that your team’s star isn’t planning to see through her full college career.

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Black, Ferrari, Iordache, Murakami, and ??? blanking on who the 5th could be. I always laugh at how I can easily remember the finalists of a decade-plus old event/AA final but struggled applying that ability to learning periodic table or memorizing vocab lists.

ETA: thought about it right as I hit post, and it instantly dawned on me that i forgot to include Biles lolll

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biles?!

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As a fan, it is deflating to hear that Suni’s college career will be limited, but I think she is the first Olympic Gold medalist (in gym) to compete in college gymnastics at all. Maybe her teammates are happy to have her as long as her college career lasts. :woman_shrugging:

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Is it not six, those five plus Steingruber? Fwiw I didn’t get all of them!

I think the whole thing is very interesting for a lot of reasons. It’s not a surprise to me that Suni feels like this and nor do I think it’s particularly unreasonable either. NCAA has always been about balancing sports, education and other personal goals and desires. She’s just saying the quiet part out loud, plus it looks a bit different now than previously because of the NIL rules. There’ve also surely been lots of gymnasts who weren’t particularly enjoying the student athlete experience and were only doing it because it was the best option open to them at the time. That’s what this is too.

However… the timing and tone can’t have made the Auburn marketing people happy. And quite possibly not her own team, either.

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Yeah I only have a slight issue with that timing of this. Right before Nationals is not a good look.

But it’s been obvious to me that Suni is not enjoying her time much in NCAA. With the Olympics just around the corner, this seems to be a no-brainer.

The timing doesnt seem great for anyone involved. I expect Suni’s reps would’ve had other preferences for how she announced her elite comeback.

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Is it really a comeback if you don’t even miss a Nationals?

In my mind anyone who competes at both 2021 Nationals then 2022 Nationals back to back never left elite.

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I think at the time Steingruber had announced (Oct but before worlds) and Iordache hadn’t (Dec). Still, six were active in the year and that is awesome.

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