US gymnast Sunisa Lee warms netizens’ hearts with show of support for 16-year-old gold medalist Guan Chenchen
Published: Aug 04, 2021 10:15 PM
Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

 Countless eyes focused on the gym floor during the women's beam event at the Tokyo Olympic Games on Tuesday, witnessing the birth of a gold medalist – 16-year-old Guan Chenchen from China. Guan’s achievement was a moment of pride for many Chinese, but something else on the sidelines of the completion also caught many people’s attention, the warm support shown to Guan by 18-year-old US gymnast Sunisa Lee.

As cameras recorded Guan’s performance, sharp-eyed viewers noticed that every time the Chinese gymnast successfully completed a move on the beam, Lee, very noticeable in the background due to her red coat, would jump and cheer along with Guan’s teammates and coaches. Her sincere and joyous reaction touched viewers around the world.

After Guan won her gold medal, Lee rushed and gave her a big hug.

Lee also took part in the event, coming in fifth, but her lack of medals did not impact her feelings toward her Chinese competitors.
Later, Lee uploaded a photo of herself and Guan online, along with the comment “I’m so proud!” She also replied to netizens on Twitter who were talking about her actions in the background saying “I love her so much.”
Lee and Guan have long been friends as well as competitors. 
When she just arrived in Tokyo, Lee took photos with Guan, which she later posted on Twitter with the message “reunited!” 

Netizens admired the friendship between the two athletes, commenting that this is what a global society should look like.

“No matter where you are from, what race you belong to, what beliefs you have, people in international society should unite together, making human life better. I see that hope at the Olympic Games. These athletes give us a good example,” one Sina Weibo user wrote.

Other athletes have also been praised for their friendly behavior and support for competitors from different countries.

Zhang Yufei and Wang Shun, Chinese swimmers who have won gold at the Tokyo Olympic Games, were praised by netizens for their Olympic spirit and great sportsmanship at the Games after Zhang hugged Japanese competitor Rikako Ikee and the other bowed to Hungarian swimmer László Cseh.

Chinese badminton players Chen Qingchen and Jia Yifan were also seen hugging crying opponents from Indonesia after a match, despite losing to them. 

Global Times