Olympic champion Suni Lee embraced her family in an emotional reunion shown live on morning TV.
It was the first time the gymnastics gold medallist had seen her family since her triumph in Tokyo, where she won gold in the all-around final, silver in the team final, and bronze on the uneven bars.
In touching scenes shown live on the Today show, Ms Lee put her gold medal around her paralysed father’s neck, and gave her mother another of her medals, as they celebrated being back together again after weeks apart.
The family had been unable to travel to Japan to watch Ms Lee compete because of Covid restrictions, and had to make do with watching her success on the television from afar.
When he saw his daughter, Ms Lee’s dad John gave her a big hug and tearfully told her: “You did great, you did awesome.”
Mr Lee expressed his pride in his 18-year-old daughter, who was the first Hmong American gymnast to qualify for the Olympics and the first Asian American woman to win gold in the all-around.
He said: “I never thought that I would ever get one of these, and she did it, she got it, she brought it home,” adding: “I’m so proud of her, I’m so surprised, so everything. Good job.”
Ms Lee’s mother Yeev Thoj said: “Just thinking of all the hard work she has done in the past two years and every time when she’s had a bad day and she comes home crying, that hurts me. Seeing her with a gold medal and winning these medals, it just made me happy. So these are happy tears.”
Ms Lee was clearly overjoyed to be back with her family, saying: “Amazing, I haven’t seen them in so long. To see them here with me in New York is absolutely amazing. I feel so proud. I’m so happy to see them.”
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