What a winner! Team USA Gymnast Sunisa “Suni” Lee took home the gold medal in the all-around competition at the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games on Wednesday, July 28. Her incredible showing during the championship event has made her an American hero — and fans are curious how much money the Minnesota native makes from her gymnastics career.
However, the elite athlete’s net worth is a bit of a mystery. No outlets have reported a figure for Suni, but judging by her past — and present — medal wins, it is clear that she has a sizable income through her sport.
The Auburn University incoming freshman won gold, silver and bronze medals at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. Before she took home those accolades, Suni won big at the 2017 Pacific Rim Championships in Medellín, Colombia. She took home one gold and three silver medals at the junior-level competition. Though the amount is unclear, it appears those wins each come with prize money.
Now that the Hmong starlet has won two medals — one gold for all-around and one silver with the rest of Team USA — that prize money will also factor into her net worth. Olympic athletes are paid $37,500 per gold medal, $22,500 per silver medal and $15,000 per bronze medal, according to a 2018 report from CNBC. That means Suni will take home $60,000 from Tokyo.
The performer also has the ability to broker major endorsement deals as a result of her historic wins. Additionally, she has the capability to partner with brands for paid social media posts considering her whopping 500,000 followers.
Suni opened up in May about how difficult it was to wait for the Olympics when it was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. “I just didn’t want to see myself fall back,” she told Elle at the time. “I don’t want to disappoint my coaches or my parents.” However, it seems she did just the opposite and came out of quarantine stronger than ever.
In fact, even Suni’s gymnastics hero, Nastia Liukin — who is a five-time Olympic medalist herself — saw greatness in her. “Her abilities as a gymnast, especially her bar routine, are incredible,” the Russian-born athlete told the outlet. “But it’s the unparalleled mental strength that she has shown during the most difficult time of her life that make her the person she is.”