Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Parade honors Suni Lee's historic gold-medal win


August 9, 2021

Jerry Holt, Star Tribune

Sunisa Lee, center, waved from a St. Paul fire truck with her mom Yeev Thoj, left, and sister Shyenne Lee as fans cheered for her along the White Bear Avenue parade route on Sunday in St. Paul.

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."


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