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Gymnastics

Simone Biles gifts Olympic gold medallist Suni Lee's dad a custom wheelchair

Extending her warmth and affection for fellow teammate and Olympic gold medallist, Suni Lee's father, Simone Biles had a special gift for him.

Olympic gold medallist gymnasts Simone Biles and Suni Lee
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Olympic gold medallist gymnasts Simone Biles and Suni Lee (Source: Reuters)

By

Sohinee

Updated: 2021-09-09T11:35:02+05:30

The inarguable G.O.A.T of gymnastics - Simone Biles had a special something in store for her team mate and fellow Olympic gold medallist, Sunisa Lee's father - John Lee. The 8-time Olympic medallist decided to gift John Lee, who has been paralysed after a mishap since 2019, with a customised wheelchair last week, that would allow him to go around more freely.

Nearly two years back now, John Lee, who fell off a ladder while trying to be a good neighbour and helping with the trimming of a tree, suffered an unfortunate spinal cord injury that has left him paralysed from the chest down, rendering a major half of the body to not function as desired. As luck would have it, John met with this accident just two days before her teenager daughter had her US Championships.

In fact, Suni even suggested giving it a miss but John, would hear none of it and instead FaceTimed his daughter from the hospital bed, on the first day of the competition to tell her to do her best and that she would always be his number one, according to ESPN. Eventually, the teenage talent went on to take gold on uneven bars and earned second place in the all-around behind Simone Biles.

At the Tokyo Olympics, Suni was a trailblazer to watch and there wasn't much doubt that she is the favourite for gold in the Women's Individual all-around event, with Biles not participating in the event. Sticking to her dream and replicating the feat of Simone Biles from Rio 2016, Suni Lee bagged the gold and crowned herself as the Olympic champion. After the win, Suni told Today, "This has been our dream forever. I wish he [her father] was here...We both worked for this."

John, who had always recognised greatness in Sunisa and even built a wooden beam for his daughter to practise on, as they could not afford a real balance beam, was overjoyed at this success and thanked Simone Biles - "I want to tell Simone that she truly is the GOAT because she let my baby girl bring me a gold medal."

Returning that thank you, the 24-year-old Biles decided to get John a customised wheelchair and had her friends at the Today show step onboard to get it done. In a video message, Biles reached out to John saying - "Hi, Mr. Lee, it's Simone. I love your daughter Suni so much and I know how much she loves you...You have done so much for her so I reached out to my friends at the 'Today' show to see if we could do something special for you. Hope you like it."

Receiving the gift in a grand way, John entered the driveway to find his family holding up sings saying - "We love you!" and "Thank you" as his eyes washed upon the wheelchair standing next to a person from Quantum Rehab. This sweet touch from Biles - while thoughtful, was also endearing as she has proved once again why she is indeed, the G.O.A.T of the sport, even off the arena.

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