Parade honors Suni Lee's historic gold-medal win
August 9, 2021
Gold medal draped around her neck, Sunisa Lee rode high atop a fire truck through the streets of St. Paul's East Side on Sunday as hundreds gathered to celebrate the 18-year-old gymnast's return home after a stunning Olympic performance in Tokyo.
As Lee waved to the crowd, flanked by her mother, sister and several American flags, 8-year-old Esme Xiong flashed a homemade sign up toward her champion. "I'm a Hmong girl and I can be anything I want," it read, drawn with red, white and blue markers reminiscent of Lee's leotard.
"We thought it was very inspiring to her," said Xiong's mother, Pang Vang, "not just as a girl - but a Hmong girl."