MENASHA, Wis. (WFRV) – Family, friends, and fans of gymnast Suni Lee are excited she scored the gold medal at the Olympic games in Tokyo. Local athletes at Ultimate Fusion Athletics in Menasha are taking notice. “Seeing diversity on that team and really representing well, she does such a great job just being a rock for that team and showing the strength of the Asian Community,” said Charlotte Introcasco, a 19-year-old gymnast.
Lee’s win is a symbol of progress from the Hmong Community. “I definitely wish that there is more of it, but I think this is a really great step forward and I think the Hmong Community is going to start to be represented more now,” said Asha LyBoualong, gymnast.
The instructors at Ultimate Fusion Athletics are encouraging their athletes to get to the Olympics one day, but they are also encouraging them to get a college education. “If they want to do it for fun, or if they want to make it to college, that’s the route that we try to take them on,” said Mikal Ramadan, owner. Ramadan has been in gymnastics for 40-years and has seen hundreds, if not thousands of athletes walk through his doors. “We try to take everyone then and work hard to get them there,” said Ramadan.
“Olympics are usually harder skills,” said Addison Smet, a 14-year-old gymnast. Smet says she wants to attend college in Missouri because they have a great gymnastics team. “College gymnastics is just a team representing a state,” said Smet. Kaylee Skarda has been in gymnastics for most of her life and says seeing the Olympic games and the wins is a motivator for her to do it. “I feel excited for whoever does it and whichever team it is and it makes me want to be like them one day,” said Skarda.