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Minnesotans relish in Suni Lee Olympic Gold win

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- An exciting day for Americans, for Minnesotans and the Hmong community; as 18-year-old, St. Paul native Suni Lee clinches an Olympic gold medal.

It's a moment those at home will never forget.

"There are no words to describe how we feel right now," Suni's father, John told reporters after the announcement.

Fans and athletes, in awe of the win.

"This is a really powerful moment for young athletes to see the ability that they can succeed with hard work and dedication," Rochester Gymnastics Academy Rebekkah Frunzac said.

And Minnesotans left swelling with pride.

"To see three Minnesota gymnasts participating in the Olympics is huge," Frunzac said.

"I was so proud of her," Rochester resident Addie Evans said. "Especially everything that was going on with Simone Biles, and she stepped up."

"It's kind of like a perspective shift," John Marshall senior Aiden Derr said. "She's my age doing stuff like that, it's kinda crazy."

"It's just amazing to see the stuff she can do," Emma Fink echoed.

What is it about the Olympics that brings everyone together?

"Anytime you have someone from this area and somebody from the state represent your country that way, it's really special," Rochester resident Richard Hurt said.

"It's cool to watch someone represent you," Evans said.

That representations is even more meaningful for the Twin Cities Hmong community.

"This is actually one of the largest populations, sort of the epicenter of Hmong urban life, the Twin Cities area," Maylee Chang siad.

Chang says Suni is setting the stage for the next Hmong generation.

"For us growing up, we never had those role models," Chang said. "It's just so exciting to know our children have someone to look up to. And say, 'wow, she did this. I want to be just like her.'"

And at just 18 years old, Suni is just getting started.

Beret Leone

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