Emily Lee’s Olympic Trials fall was a sad ending to her Tokyo 2020 bid as Simone Biles, Sunisa Lee, Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum locked down their places.
Who is Emily Lee?
Lee is an 18-year-old recent high school graduate who is a commit to UCLA.
Lee has been training at West Valley Gymnastics School, just outside San Jose, since the age of six.
Taylor, her younger sister, died in 2015 at age three, following a sudden and brief bout with leukemia, according to The Telegraph in Illinois.
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Speaking to the same title, Lee credited gymnastics with helping her deal with Taylor’s death.
She said: “I was able to get out of my head a little bit,” she said. “At first, it was really hard coming back. Like I kept thinking ‘I should be grieving, I should be doing all this stuff.’
“Eventually, it started helping me. For a split second during practice, I kind of forgot how (bad) my life was going.”
She is coached by Paul Duron and Judy Zhuo. The latter said of her: “She has no attitude at all. She’s very, very humble.
“She’s always willing to help with the little kids in the gym. It’s just her personality. Everybody just loves her. She’s kind. Very kind and a beautiful kid inside and outside.”
Lee won the all-around at 2020 Gymnix in Montreal last March just days before the pandemic hit.
She achieved an eighth-place finish at the US Classic in May. She dropped to 13th at the national championships last month.
What happened to the gymnast?
“I’m really proud of where I am right now, even if trials doesn’t go my way,” Lee said in the same Telegraph piece. “I’m still going to be proud.”
And the trials at The Dome at America’s Center in St Louis, Missouri certainly didn’t go her way.
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Disaster struck on Day Two when, during a routine, she went crashing to the floor.
“Oh! Oh boy, she can’t finish after that, that was a really, really bad landing,” said the NBC commentator.
Lee appeared to hurt her right ankle, although there has been no update on her injury as yet.
The young gymnast was helped off the floor by her trainers as the packed stadium gave her a standing ovation.
Joining Simone Biles in Team USA is 18-year-old Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles, 20 and 18-year-old Grace McCallum. Jade Carey and Mykyla Skinner join as individuals.
How did Twitter react?
People took to Twitter in their droves to react to the young competitor crashing to the mat.
One person said it made her “audibly gasp so loud,” adding that she hoped the gymnast is “doing OK.”
Details on her condition are scant, with the competitor not taking to social media to provide an update, and with NBC also failing to do so.
“Shame on NBC for providing no update on her condition,” wrote one person. Another added that the lack of update was “rude”.
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“How is Emily Lee doing? Y’all are so rude just ignoring the poor girl. That was a terrible fall,” a viewer tweeted, tagging NBC.
But most people were simply concerned for her well-being. Another person wrote: “Really feeling bad for Emily Lee. That fall was pretty hard on her ankle/leg and I hope she recovers.”
“There are quite a few body parts that could’ve been injured in that crash. It hurt to watch,” said another.