Olympic gold medalist in all-around Tokyo 2020 Sunia Lee of the United States targets more rhythmic gymnastics equipment at Paris 2024.
“I want to go to Paris and prove to myself that I can do it because I didn’t think I could do it and I didn’t think I would win the Olympics. [last time]Lee said in an interview with Initiate. “So this time I just want to prepare a little better.”
Lee has plenty of time – and her second and final season in Auburn University – prepare, but after 2020 and 2021, she knows what a climb awaits her to return to the Olympic stage.
“Obviously, I have to go through all the steps to try to form a team again,” Lee said, “so I hope to be able to form a team even this year.”
In November, Lee announced her intention to train for the Paris Olympics and retire from Auburn after her sophomore season.
She and her Tigers will begin their 2023 campaign after a historic fourth place finish in 2022 at the Super 16 event in Las Vegas on Saturday (January 7).
Given last season in Florida, Trinity Thomas has not ruled out returning to elite gymnastics
Return to elite gymnastics for the 2022 NCAA all-around champion Trinity Thomas not beyond the realm of possibility, he says.
“[It] there’s still a maybe, but it’s definitely still being thought about,” Thomas said Athletic.
Thomas, fifth year senior in University of Floridawas a member of the U.S. national team from 2016 to 2020, achieving what was once a rare balance of the demands of college and elite gymnastics.
Her career in Florida was, to put it mildly, spectacular. She has won almost every title imaginable, from SEC and NCAA titles to last year’s Honda Award.
But one line missing from her résumé, an NCAA team title, brought her back for another season.
“I was devastated,” Thomas said of her team’s 2022 NCAA runner-up finish. They finished second behind the University of Oklahoma. “I really thought this year was going to be it.
“I took a second and – there were a few tears – but I was just so proud of my team and how hard they fought from start to finish and what an amazing, amazing season we had.”
Thomas calls his fifth year finals and believes a team title is within reach.
“I definitely think it’s something very realistic,” she said. “I wanted to come back and help us do that.”
She will have plenty of help, including the 2017 world all-around champion Morgan Hurd and US Olympic alternates Leanna Wong and Kayla DiCellowho placed second and third respectively in the all-around at the 2021 World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships.
The Gators kick off the season on Friday (January 6) with the quads meeting at home.
The NCAA action begins tonight, Friday, January 6
After eight months of anticipation, the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics season kicks off tonight – Friday, January 6 – with an exciting top 10 matchup between No. 3 Utah and No. 6 LSU. Fans in the US can follow the action live on ESPN2.
Five teams from the top 10 will take part in the Super 16 tournament in Las Vegas. 8th California will face off against Iowa, Arizona State and BYU on Saturday (January 7) in the afternoon, before 1st Oklahoma, 4th Michigan, 1st 5th Auburn and UCLA No. 10 will face off in the evening session of the event. All four Super 16 sessions will be broadcast on the Big Ten network in the United States.
Here’s a look at other key events (all time Eastern):
- Friday, January 6
- No. 12 Michigan to No. 7 Alabama, 7 p.m
- West Virginia, Ball State, Lindenwood at No. 2 Florida, 7 p.m
- Saturday, January 7
- No. 15 Arkansas, Nebraska, 4:00 p.m
From the vault…
This week we take a look at the Canadian Pioneer Iwona Tusekperformances from the all-around final in Atlanta 1996.
Known for her innovative dance floor practice style, Tousek recorded her highest score, 9.625, at the event en route to 26th place.
Tousek represented Team Canada at the 2000 Sydney Olympics before embarking on a decorated career at UCLA.