Olympic gold medalist Suni Lee just became Instagram official with her boyfriend, University of Southern California football player Jaylin Smith. But the gymnast has revealed that she has already received “so much hate” over their relationship.
TikTok user Alix Pham shared a video tribute, showing Suni, 18, and Jaylin, also 18, in a sweet Instagram hug while he pointed and applauded the loving photo behind him.
Next to it, he wrote, “I know that Sunisa will be judged by certain eyes in the Hmong Community because her man is Black,” he wrote, referencing the Indigenous Southeast Asian mountain people of whom Suni is a descendant. He added, “LOVE is LOVE, no matter what race or gender you are. Keep doing you QUEEN.”
Suni let Alix know the very same day he posted the December 30 video how much she appreciated his supportive post about her romance. “This makes me so happy. I’ve received so much hate,” she wrote, including a crying face emoji.
“They support me when it’s beneficial for them, never when it comes to my happiness. Thank you!” the talented athlete added. Alix responded back, “I gotchu you queen, and your king’s back. Let’s be the change and grow our Hmong Community.”
Suni shared two photos cuddling up to Jaylin on December 26, 2021. The first showed the pair wearing matching black sweatsuits while in each other’s arms and smiling for the camera. In the second romantic snapshot, he leaned his face into hers, as Suni held his head lovingly. The pair had their eyes closed and looked so blissful together.
Jaylin shared the same photo to his Instagram account the day prior on Christmas. It came at the end of a series of snapshots of him posing while wearing the black hoodie with a large Chrome Hearts logo on the back.
He included a picture taken from behind of him with his arm around a petite woman, who wore a matching Chrome Hearts hoodie. It was the fourth and final photo that revealed Suni’s face, showing the intimate cuddling photo that the gymnast shared the following day in her post.
Neither Suni nor Jaylin captioned their photos, as their affection towards each other said it all. While the Minnesota native disabled the comments on her post, Jaylin left his open, with one fan writing, “Yesssirrrrr!!!” and another cheering, “Awwwww I love it.” It’s unclear how long the two have been dating prior to their Instagram debut.
Suni became America’s Sweetheart during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics when she stepped up to the plate and took home the gold medal in the women’s gymnastics individual all-around competition, after heavy favorite Simone Biles had to withdraw due to health issues. Suni also helped lead the American squad to a silver medal in the team competition.