Suni Lee finally got to celebrate winning Olympic gold by sharing an emotional hug with the people who have been with her every step of the way on her journey to stardom.
The 18-year-old U.S. gymnast had a sweet reunion with her parents, John Lee and Yeev Thoj, and two siblings, Jonah and Shyenne, on TODAY Thursday in their first time together since Lee won three Olympic medals in Tokyo.
"Amazing, I haven't seen them in so long," Lee said. "To see them here with me in New York is absolutely amazing. I feel so proud. I'm so happy to see them."
Her family watched Lee's shining moment with pride at a party in Oakdale, Minnesota, along with a large group of fans from Lee's Hmong American community.
Her family expected about 50 to 100 people to show up after they put the word out only a day before she competed. Between 300 and 400 people poured into the gathering to cheer for the hometown girl.
Lee is the first Hmong American gymnast to qualify for the Olympics and the first Asian American woman to win gold in the all-around.
“The people i do it all for,” Lee tweeted after seeing the celebration. “I LOVE YOU ALL.”
Her parents and siblings were delirious with excitement when Lee added a gold medal to the silver she won in the team competition. She later added a bronze medal on the uneven bars.
She enjoyed a triumphant moment on Thursday when she placed two of her medals around the necks of her mother and father on TODAY and hugged them tight.
"Oh my God. I never thought I would ever get one of these, and she did it," John said. "She got it, she brought it home."
"It's like happy tears," her mother said. "Just thinking of all the hard work that she has done in the past four years and every time she has a bad day and she comes home crying, and that kind of hurts me, and so to see her with the gold medal, it just makes me happy."
Suni has been inspired by John's ongoing recovery after he was paralyzed from the chest down in 2019 by a fall from a ladder.
She spoke with Hoda Kotb on TODAY in Tokyo after her win in the all-around about how much it meant to share the medal with her father, who built a wooden balance beam that still stands in their family's back yard so she could train as a child.
"This has been our dream forever," Suni said. "I wish he was here. He always told me if I win the gold medal he would come out and do a backflip. It's sad that he can't be here and he still may not be able to walk, but this is our dream and this our medal."
"That beam was built out of a piece of wood. I never thought I'd be wearing one of these (medals) because of that beam," John said on TODAY Thursday. "It's just incredible. And I love that beam now."