Suni Lee and an epochal moment for Hmongs in America
Like the story of the estimated 309,000 Hmongs who have settled in the US, her journey has been painful and turbulent.
"We were nomadic and we didn't have a place to belong and I feel like we fought adversity," said Koua Yang, athletic director at Como Park Senior High School in St. Paul, Minnesota, where many Hmong refugees settled in the 1970s. "We were warriors throughout history, and here we are in the United States living the American dream. She epitomizes all that ... All the struggles."
Lee's path to Olympic glory has been pockmarked by injuries, the loss of an aunt and uncle to Covid-19 and a 2019 fall that left her father, John, paralyzed from the waist down.