Being forced to watch from the sidelines is almost always heartbreaking, especially when neither the athletes nor their coaches made the decision.

This was the case for Sunisa Lee, who made the brave decision to give up gymnastics temporarily because of a kidney disease that no mental positivity or will could ever cure.

Lee revealed in X earlier this year that she has been struggling with a “non-gymnastics health-related issue” concerning her kidneys. Lee frequently found herself in the hospital during that time and ultimately had to make the courageous choice to stop playing the sport temporarily. The 20-year-old announced her decision on April 4 and wrote on X that her priority was her health and recovery.

In August, everyone assumed that Lee had resumed her competitive schedule following her participation in the US Classic.

However, last month, when Lee was approached with an invitation to compete at the U.S. Women’s World Championships Selection Event in Katy, Texas, she declined. Lee opened up that time that she has yet to fully recovery from the disease and continues to travel to and from the gym for medical appointments.

“I have been in and out of the gym just because there’s just so many doctor’s appointments, and I’m taking a lot of medication, so it kind of varies every day,” said Lee of her training, in an interview with Olympics.com.

She remained steadfast in her decision to solely focus on her recovery, declining to participate in all the remaining competitions this year, such as the International Championships in Paris and the Pan American Games.

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The Olympics

There is, however, one event that Lee would never refuse: the Paris Olympiad next year, a competition she hopes to qualify for next semester.

As young as 6 years old, Lee aspired to compete in the international arena at the Olympics and stand proud along with the gymnastics titans. And at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, she finally achieved her dream as she stepped onto the mat and led the US team in place of Biles.

“I would be like, ‘I want to go to the Olympics, and I want to win a gold medal,'” she said, as per ABC news.

At the Olympics, Lee achieved a remarkable success, winning gold in the all-around competition and silver in the team event, as well as a bronze for the uneven bars, catapulting her to international gymnastics stardom.

Seen at the blue mats

Showing no signs of giving up, the Hmong-American juggles her time between the doctor’s office and training.

In her latest Instagram post, Lee was seen on the blue mats once again. Giving her fans an insight into her training regime, Lee was seen hard at work on her floor and uneven bar skills. In the video, she also wrote the words ‘pov: getting back into it after taking time away.’

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