Wed. Mar 29th, 2023

FORT WORTH, Texas — The future is not the focus yet for Suni Lee or her Auburn gymnastics coach, but a decision is on the horizon.
And there’s no blueprint for a decision like this.
Lee is the first all-around Olympic gold medalist ever to compete as an NCAA gymnast. She won gold in 2021 then enrolled at Auburn a month later. The freshman has helped Auburn to the No. 7 national seed and a spot in the 2022 NCAA Championships, which begin Thursday (6 p.m. CT, ESPN2).
But the long-term goal might be an Olympic return in 2024. The COVID-19 pandemic delaying the Tokyo Olympics, creating a shorter window to prepare for the next.
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“We’re meeting after this year,” Graba said Wednesday when asked if he has received any indication of Lee’s plan. “We’ve all decided to try to get through college, the NCAA season, and then we do have to have a plan for what’s coming up. I know she wants to come back. I know she wants to go back to (the International Gymnastics Federation). But I also know that she’s still got a lot on her plate and needs to balance it. So we’re going to be here.”
Graba’s brother, Jess, is Lee’s Olympic coach and has trained her at Midwest Gymnastics in St. Paul, Minnesota, since she was 6 years old.
“All I’ve told her and all my brother’s told her and all she’s expected is that we’re going to be here for her no matter what she decides,” Jeff Graba said. “But yeah, we’ll meet afterward. We’re just trying to keep her brain uncluttered as long as we can.”


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