Auburn Gymnastics head coach talks Olympian Suni Lee’s transition to collegiate athlete


Auburn, Ala. (WRBL) – The packing list for one Auburn freshman includes a gold medal.

Olympian Suni Lee is heading to Auburn as one of the newest members of the Auburn Women’s Gymnastic team. Twin brother of Suni Lee’s current coach Jess Graba and Head Coach of the Auburn Women’s Gymnastics Team Jeff Graba breaks down her transition to collegiate gymnastics.

“Right now she thinks she might want to go for another world championship in the future and maybe another Olympic games so we cannot detrain off of that. We need to train at that level,” said Graba.

This also means learning the new code from the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG).

“We’re going to have to look at the new code. We have a good plan of attack on how to go after and try to train her up on it,” said Graba. “Some of the skills she’s been doing right now will transfer very well, some will not.”

Besides talking about her transition from the Olympics and elite gymnastics to collegiate gymnastics, Graba talked about what Lee will bring to the Tiger’s. Mentioning things like her ability to handle tough situations, pressure and her calm and collected demeanor while competing.

“In 2019 right after her dad had the accident, she was at championships. I was there as well, but I remember she reacted extremely well to that in an absolutely horrific moment in her life,” said Graba. “So I think she’s just gaining confidence in herself.”

Lee’s dad fell from a ladder in 2019 and was paralyzed from the chest down just days before the 2019 championship competition.

And when it comes to her bar routine, the most difficult in the world, Graba said you can expect to see some of those difficult skills during her collegiate career.

“I’m pretty sure we’re not going to throw all 17 skills that she’s doing every night I’ll guarantee you that,” said Graba.

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