When Suni Lee won the gold medal in the individual all-around gymnastics final, she knew it represented a victory for her family as much as for herself.
The Olympic athlete, 18, earned two more medals at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, all of which she attributes to her dad John Lee. Once she arrived home, Suni told him on the Today show, “I wouldn’t be here without you.”
She put her gold medal around his neck, and he remarked, “I never thought that I would ever get one of these and she did it. She got it and brought it home. I’m so proud of her, so surprised, so everything.”
John, who built Suni her first balance beam in their backyard, had an accident in 2019 that left him paralyzed from the chest down. At the time, he was helping a neighbor prune a tree when he fell off a ladder.
Two years later, Simone Biles witnessed her teammate’s special bond with her father firsthand at the 2020 Olympics. Now, she’s teaming up with the Today show to give him an electric wheelchair from Quantum Rehab, which will be customized to his needs.