Sunisa Lee: Olympic gold medallist pepper sprayed in racist attack

Sunisa Lee

Olympic gold medallist Sunisa Lee recently revealed she was pepper sprayed and verbally abused during an anti-Asian attack while in Los Angeles.

The 18-year-old gymnast was waiting with her friends for an Uber when a car drove by and its occupants shouted racial slurs at her.

Lee recounts she was also pepper sprayed on her arm as the car sped past.

"I was so mad, but there was nothing I could do or control because they skirted off," the gymnastics star said in an interview with PopSugar. "I didn't do anything to them, and having the reputation, it's so hard because I didn't want to do anything that could get me into trouble. I just let it happen."

Lee competed in her first Olympic Games this summer and won three medals while out in Tokyo. She helped the USA take home silver in the all-around team event, while picking up bronze and gold in the uneven bars and individual all-around respectively.

Sunisa Lee

She became the first ever Hmong-American athlete to compete at the Olympics with her inaugural campaign.

In 2019, Lee scooped three medals at the World Championships in Stuttgart, just months after making her senior gymnastics debut. She won bronze on the uneven bars, silver on floor, and gold in the all-around team event.

The 18-year-old is currently competing on hit dance competition show Dancing with the Stars. Lee is into the last six of the contest and is up against the likes of singer and YouTube star JoJo Siwa, and American talkshow host Amanda Kloots.

Sunisa Lee

Lee isn't the only athlete to suffer extreme racist attacks this year. In April, Japanese-American karateka Sakura Kokumai explained she was subject to a barrage of racial slurs during training in Southern California. 

US Olympic snowboarding champion Chloe Kim, who is of South Korean heritage, also admitted she receives racial abuse and trolling on social media on a daily basis.

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