Sunisa “Suni” Lee keeps going for the gold, but not only in her gymnastics career. The Olympic All-Around Women’s Final gold medalist is also starring on season 30 of Dancing With the Stars. Just as other star gymnasts Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez, Shawn Johnson and Aly Raisman danced their hearts out on the reality show in the past, Suni, 18, is now striving for the Mirrorball Trophy.
However, this dancing queen is also an undergraduate student at Auburn University, Alabama. So what is the gymnastics student studying? Here’s a hint — it’s not sports-related.
The college freshmen knew she wanted Auburn for a while before she committed. “I came [to Auburn] about every year leading up to this year because I would come to camps all the time,” the gymnast said in September 2021, per Auburn University. “When you’re an elite gymnast it’s so hard because you have to sacrifice so many things and you can’t hang out with friends — like you have to do online school.”
Despite the difficulties, the DWTS contestant is enjoying her college career and is happy to slow down, competition-wise. “I know that [DWTS] is not going to be as difficult as anything I did in the Olympics or leading up to the Olympics,” Suni added. “But I think it’s more mental because I’m not a very good dancer.”
Clearly, the Auburn student, who is majoring in business marketing, is performing better than she had anticipated on the reality show. Partnering with Sasha Farber, Suni has made it all the way to the final eight pairs. “Disney week,” the contestant wrote in an Instagram post on October 11. “Vote for me and @sashafarber.”
She even powered through a stomach ache on Queen Night, which aired on Monday, November 1. Suni and Sasha danced to the rock band’s “We Will Rock You.” The duo wore matching Freddie Mercury-inspired costumes, with Suni donning the bright yellow jacket over her white one-piece, slit dress.
The moment she finished the Paso Doble, Suni quickly ran backstage. “Not COVID! Not COVID at all!” host Tyra Banks immediately reassured the audience. “But she’s not feeling well so she danced sick and she had to leave. But she’s OK!”