AUBURN, Ala. (WRBL) – Sunisa Lee comes from the top of the Olympic podium to East Alabama. The All-Around gymnastics event has arrived at Auburn this week. Now the first semester of college is hectic for everyone even a gold medal winner.
“It’s been pretty crazy. I have been back and forth a little bit. But just being here is pretty amazing and I’m just getting settled in so I’m super excited for the rest of the season,” said Lee.
Unlike most incoming freshmen, Suni is athletic royalty. How can you tell? She now has over one million followers on her Instagram account. The newfound fame is a new balancing act for her.
“I mean it’s a little bit hard, but I’m trying to find a way to balance it out. I just got here so people are going to be really excited. But once it dies down I feel like it will be a little bit better. I feel like I will be able to do stuff. Like I will go somewhere without being called out or something,” said Lee.
Seeing a decorated Olympian choose the college route is intriguing. A big factor in Lee’s decision was the new Name, Image, and Likeness rules for college athletes. That will allow Suni to make some money while she’s enrolled at Auburn. It’s an opportunity she feels like her fellow Tigers should take advantage of.
“I feel like it’s a really good opportunity for a bunch of athletes that a lot of people didn’t get before. So I think every athlete is going to take advantage of it right now. Which they should because it’s a really good opportunity, and that’s what I’m really excited for,” said Lee.
Even with the bigger spotlight on her, Lee loves how the Auburn family has opened their arms to welcome her.
“Everybody here has been so supportive, and so welcoming about me coming here. Because I know it’s crazy to have like an Olympic gold medalist come but I’m just really excited because everybody here is just so nice,” said Lee.
Hopefully, Lee can turn around the Auburn Gymnastics fortune from last season when the Tigers went 1-7 overall.