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Suni Lee's former gymnastics coach reacts to her big win

"Suni has always been a tremendous competitor ever since I've known her," said Lee's former coach, and close friend, Punnarith Koy.

LITTLE CANADA, Minn. — Before winning big in the women’s gymnastics all-around competition, Suni Lee’s quest for Olympic gold began at Midwest Gymnastics in Little Canada. 

"Suni has always been a tremendous competitor ever since I've known her," said Lee's former coach, and close friend Punnarith Koy.

Koy introduced her to the world of balance beams and uneven bars, at the age of 6, knowing there was something special lying within. 

"Naturally she showed off a gymnast amount of power, a lot of fearlessness, but she didn’t know any of the terminology so I'd say do a roundoff. She did a front handspring but you could see there was a lot of stuff going on there," said Koy. 

Now, Lee's training on the same mats all these years later is inspiring future Olympians one roundoff and backhand spring at a time.”

"My wife, my kids, we all sit down and watch the Olympics events and we’ve been following Suni and we’ve just been so proud and excited for her," said Meng Vang, as he watched his daughter train at Midwest Gymnastics. 

"It's a tremendous time and I got up early and knew it would be one of those iconic moments of things that we’ll never forget," said Koy. 

It’s a moment in time which is changing the game as we once knew it, while shifting cultural narratives in the Asian American community. 

"For me, like when I grew up as first generation Asian family right, academics was the number one thing so trying to get permission to get into sports, it was a no," said Koy. He went on to say, "but I think that’s about to change.”

A change yielding big results for Minnesota's own. 

"It's been an incredible day, its been a surreal moment," said Koy.