Olympic gold medal gymnast ends college career because of health issue

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Sunisa Lee’s collegiate gymnastics career is over. 

The Tokyo Olympics all-around gold medalist said Monday in a social media post that she had stopped competing for the Auburn Tigers since February because of a kidney issue that’s not related to gymnastics. 

Prior to the 2022-23 season, Lee announced this would be her last season at Auburn, as she focused on the 2024 Summer Games in Paris. That is still the case, Lee wrote Monday. 

‘It’s been challenging to end my Auburn career early, but I am thankful for all of the love & support,’ Lee wrote. ‘I will not stop pursuing my dreams for a bid to Paris in 2024. In fact, this experience has sharpened my vision for the future.’ 

Lee, 20, said doctors did not clear her to compete or train. She thanked her medical team for their care. 

‘I am blessed and thankful to be working with the best specialized medical team to treat and manage my diagnosis,’ Lee wrote. ‘My focus at this time is my health and recovery.’ 

In addition to her Olympic gold medal, Lee was part of the silver-medal winning group in the team competition in 2021. At Auburn, Lee won the NCAA title for balance beam and helped the Tigers place fourth at the national championship. 

After Tokyo, Lee performed on ‘Dancing With The Stars,’ placing fifth. She was the first Hmong-American to make the U.S. Olympic team.

This post appeared first on USA TODAY