Suni Lee Illness, Kidney Problems, And Health Update.

Key Takeaways

Details about Suni Lee illness. The Olympic winner had suffered a lot due to unknown kidney problems. After a long break, she has been geared up for her training session and has started practicing for the 2024 Olympics.

Sunisa “Suni” Lee, the 20-year-old American gymnast, had reported being absent from competitions for quite a few months. The 2020 Olympic all-around champion explained the reason for missing recent competitions as a severe health condition. She even announced her temporary departure from gymnastics over her kidney problem.

However, despite her health challenge, Lee says she expects to be ready to compete in the 2024 Paris Olympics. Read further to uncover more about Suni Lee’s illness, kidney problem, how she’s doing right now, and her return to gymnastics. 

Suni Lee Illness. Is Sunisa Sick?

Earlier this year, Suni Lee is reported to face health challenges as she fights against kidney disease. She tweeted on April 14, 2023, saying that she has decided to take a break from gymnastics for the time being to prioritize her health and manage a kidney-related problem. 

Her fans are curious to know what type of kidney illness she is going through or when they can see her back in the game. But Suni decided not to disclose the name or type of kidney illness she suffers from. She just shared that her health problem is not related to gymnastics. Moreover, until a few days back, it was uncertain when she would resume her gymnastics career. 

Lee didn’t consecutively participate in the four meets to end the season, including the last two regular-season meets, the SEC championship, and the NCAA Los Angeles regional semifinal. 

Sunisa Lee Gymnast
Source: Instagram / Sunisa Lee

Last year, Suni Lee won the NCAA title on the balance team and the SEC title for bars and was positioned as runner-up in all-around, with Auburn making it to the Final Four in the NCAA championships. The Minnesota native shined when she made history by becoming the first Asian American woman to win gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. She has an impressive track record as a two-time 2020 Tokyo Olympics gold medalist, winning all-around and team competitions. In addition, she is honored with the prestigious title of three-time world champion.

After the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Lee was religiously preparing for the 2024 Paris Olympics but had to put her gymnastics training sessions on standby due to her health condition. 

Sunisa Lee Ending Her Auburn Collegiate Gymnastics Career

Suni Lee, the Auburn University Sophomore, decided to end her collegiate gymnastics career at Auburn because of a non-gymnastics-related health issue involving her kidneys. 

Suni, the first-ever Asian-American Olympic gold medalist, mentioned Auburn’s medical team suggested not to train over the past few weeks for her safety. The gymnast further said, “She is blessed and thankful to be treated and managed by the best specialized medical team. And her focus for the time being is her health and recovery.” 

Lee has been competing for the college in the NCAA since January 2021. But a few months back, she announced that she would say goodbye to her collegiate career early, and this would be her last season in college gymnastics. She tweeted, “It’s been challenging to end my Auburn career early, but I am thankful for all the love and support.” Suni further added, “I want to especially thank my doctors, coaches, and the Auburn medical staff for their care during this time.”

Suni already announced in November 2022 that this would be her last season in Auburn College gymnastics. Furthermore, she also said after the season ends, she will shift her focus exclusively on training for the 2024 Olympics Games in Paris. 

Sunisa Lee
Source: Instagram / Sunisa Lee

Sunisa Lee Kidney Disease: What Is Her Actual Health Issue?

Sunisa Lee’s fans were heartbroken when the star gymnast shared about her kidney disease with the world. Many raised concerns and wished her a speedy recovery. On the other hand, there were some of her supporters who were curious to know what type of kidney disease Lee actually suffers from. But the Olympic champion, Suni, has been discreet about the type of her kidney disease and for how long her treatment will continue. 

However, she has resolved some of her fans’ concerns by updating them about her condition and treatment. She stated that a specialized healthcare team is taking care of everything about her treatment, from diagnosis and medication to dialysis and recovery.

Although Lee’s personal life and career are going through a challenging patch, she appreciated the unwavering support from her coaches, teammates, medical team, fans, and family. In fact, she even said this experience has sharpened her vision for the future. 

Sunisa Lee Returns to Gymnastics

Suni Lee has resumed her gym training for the U.S. Classic scheduled for 4-5 August 2023 after battling her health issues. The young American gymnast wants to return to shape before the 2024 Paris Olympics. She started practicing following her recovery process a month before. 

Recently, during a Q&A session with fans on her Instagram page, someone asked her how she felt returning to competitions. In response, Suni poured out her true feelings by expressing how excited she is to return to competition, but at the same time, she feels nervous about her comeback. She said that the past few months have been difficult, and she has been in and out of the gym due to her kidneys. Lee is training hard to regain her strength while keeping her health in check. 

How is Sunisa Lee Now? 

When Suni Lee was preparing for the U.S. Classic competition in Chicago on August 5, she candidly shared her journal entry. “I’ve realized I shouldn’t burden myself with excessive pressure, just as I’ve been doing in the gym,” Lee said. “There’s this constant fear that if I don’t outshine my previous Olympic performance, people might question my victory,” she further added. 

With her confession, the star gymnast’s fans can see that she has not only been affected physically but also mentally and emotionally due to her kidney disease. The weight of being an Olympic champion and continuing to outshine the title has left her feeling stressed. 

However, she is not giving up. Suni said instead of focusing on winning or scoring; she will give her best and view her upcoming performance as a personal triumph against her health challenges. 


In the past, Suni Lee has broken through many obstacles to win the 2020 Tokyo Olympics championship in gymnastics. She never gave up, even when she lost an aunt and uncle to Covid-19, and her dad was paralyzed just before her first senior U.S. National Championships.

Lee’s determination to face the challenges head-on is inspiring and moving. And her journey is a testament to her resilience, unwavering passion, and love for gymnastics. Even now, she is determined to overcome her kidney disease with her eye set on the future, especially the 2024 Paris Olympics.

About The Author

Ayushi Goyal is from the land of Mahabharata, Kurukshetra, Haryana. Well, she is the content writer at heart and by profession. Oh! and yes, she enjoys spending her free time reading novels, watching movies, and listening to music.

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