American gymnast Sunisa Lee announces her candidacy for the Paris Olympics

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American Sunisa Lee, multiple gymnastics champion at the Tokyo Olympics, has said she will end her American college career next year with the intention of trying to defend her title at the Paris Olympics in 2024 .

Dimitrios Kambouris

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Defending Olympic all-around champion Sunisa Lee announced on Tuesday that she is ending her college career in the United States next year to focus on defending her title at the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The 19-year-old American, competing for Auburn University, said in a video posted to Instagram that she would complete her second season with the Tigers and then return to elite gymnastics.

“I share a decision that has weighed on me for a very long time,” Lee said.

“As an athlete who has competed at the highest level, on the biggest stage in the world, I have been blessed with that unique feeling and indescribable emotion when a gold medal is draped around your neck.

“But I don’t want it to be just once in a lifetime.”

After defending all-around champion Simone Biles withdrew, Lee won surprise gold last year in Tokyo.

She became the sixth American to win Olympic all-around gold and the fifth in a row after Carly Patterson in 2004, Nastia Liukin in 2008, Gabby Douglas in 2012 and Biles in 2016.

“I have my sights set on Paris 2024 and I know what I need to do to get there,” Lee said in his video.

Lee helped the Americans win team silver in Tokyo and collected a bronze medal on the uneven bars. She was also part of the 2019 U.S. World Championship team.

If Lee can defend her Olympic all-around crown in 2024 in France, she would become only the third woman to win back-to-back Olympic titles in the event after Larisa Latynina of the Soviet Union in 1956 and 1960 and Vera Caslavska of Czechoslovakia. in 1964 and 1968.


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