Suni Lee's gold medal performance in the women's gymnastics all-around on Thursday made her an instant sports icon in the state of Minnesota, but it also carried a significant meaning to Hmong people around the globe — who witnessed one of their own climb to the apex of sports.
Here is a collection of reactions from members of the Hmong community — from citizens and politicians in Minnesota to authors, poets, journalists, activists and fans around the world — who took to social media after Lee's victory:
State Sen. Foung Hawj and State Rep. Kaohly Vang Her, both from St. Paul, noted what a moment this was for the Hmong community:
Nancy Yang, a Hmong-American journalist for Minnesota Public Radio, had made a bold prediction about Lee when she reported on her four years ago:
And several Hmong writers and poets noted what a proud and representative moment this was:
But if it was a moment of celebration, it was also a time for some to reflect on what brought this moment of visibility, how hard that road has been and how difficult the path forward remains. Activist Bee Vang — who was one of the first Hmong American actors to gain attention in the United States when he stared in Clint Eastwood's 'Gran Torino' — detailed some of those mixed emotions in his thread.
To see the rest of the thread, tap here.