TOKYO — There are five moments, in particular, I'll remember while Suni Lee won the all-around gold medal in front of me at the Ariake Gymnastics Centre on Thursday. They are:
- She was first up on vault to start the meet. She smiled, sprinted, vaulted, stuck the landing and then smiled again. Game on.
- On the uneven bars she performed with Simone Biles and other teammates cheering in her line of sight, and she seemed to respond, putting together a powerful routine.
- Before the balance beam, she was forced to wait. And wait … and wait. She put each hand over her stomach, then bent at the waist, and her coach, Jess Graba, came over to calm her down.
- Knowing a good routine would win the gold, Lee took off on her first tumbling run on the floor exercise and stuck the landing. Rebeca Andrade of Brazil, her closest competitor, stepped out of bounds in the same spot. That was the difference.
- Late that night (or was it early morning?) in Tokyo, Graba said Lee was performing on injured legs and had never before performed the version of the floor exercise that won her gold. "I trust her,'' he said.