Suni Lee, the champion in women's gymnastics and the breakout star at the Tokyo Olympics, will be appearing on the next season of Dancing With The Stars. This reality series pits professional dancers against celebrities in ballroom dancing.
Sunisa Lee from Team competes on balance beam in the Women's All Round Final on Day 6 of the...[+]e Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Getty Images
The Key Facts
ABC announced that Lee will compete in the program's landmark 30th season. However, they did not reveal who she would be partnering with. Lee's social media shows that she will have to balance her appearances on the program with her studies. The 18-year old is about to begin her freshman year at Auburn University. Lee will compete on the school's gymnastics team in the 2022 season. ABC announced that Lee will compete against 13 other celebrities. Most of them will be announced next month. Lee will be competing against 13 other celebrities in her transition from Olympian gymnast to Dancing With The Stars contestant. She joins fellow Olympic gold medal gymnasts, Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin, as well as Laurie Hernandez, who won her season last year.
Jojo Siwa (ex-Dance Moms star, viral social media creator) was the only other contestant to be announced on Thursday. Siwa, who appeared this year via a TikTok video that went viral, will be the first contestant in Dancing With The Stars history to compete with a partner of the same sex, ABC announced.
After Simone Biles, who was a favorite, dropped out due to her mental health, Lee emerged as the surprise star of the Games. She narrowly won the all-around medal for women's gymnastics. It's surreal, because I never imagined I would be an Olympic champion. And here I am, Lee said to the Washington Post last month. Lee won silver in the team event, and bronze on uneven bars at Tokyo Games. I believe there will be many more opportunities. Lee was able to compete at the university level and pursue her professional endeavors without having to make a choice. This is thanks to new NCAA guidelines which allow athletes to earn money off their name, image, and likeness, and not lose college eligibility.
Tokyo Olympics: U.S. gymnast Sunisa Lee wins gold medal in women's all-around final without Simone Biles (Forbes).