Most incoming Auburn freshmen might try to get a summer job before college. Spend extra time with family. Maybe take a trip with friends. Then carve out enough time to attend Camp War Eagle, of course.
Sunisa Lee isn't most incoming Auburn freshmen.
Before she arrives on campus to join the Tigers' gymnastics team later this year, she's going to Tokyo. For the Olympics. Where she'll represent the United States in gymnastics.
Lee finished second at the U.S. Olympic Trials this weekend in St. Louis with a score of 115.832 — 2.266 points behind reigning gold medalist and the standard in the sport, Simone Biles.
"This means so much to me," Lee said in an interview on NBC. "I've worked so hard the past couple years, and to just go out on the floor and do everything I was supposed to do feels amazing."
The top-two finish automatically qualified Biles and Lee to the U.S. women's national team. The rest of the roster will be filled out by committee.
Lee's score of 14.900 on the uneven bars Sunday was .400 worse than what she scored on Friday and still the best of all competitors. She actually outscored Biles overall on Sunday, which marks the first time anyone has done that in one day of all-around competition since Kyla Ross at the 2013 senior national championships.
It's yet another entry on an impressive resume for the 18-year-old St. Paul, Minn., native who signed to compete for Auburn in November — her coach, Jess Graba, is the twin brother of Tigers coach Jeff Graba.
Lee was part of the team that won gold at the 2019 World Championships, where she took home silver on the floor exercise and bronze on the uneven bars. She finished second in the all-around behind Biles at the 2021 National Championships in June and first in the uneven bars, her best event.
Now, she's going to the pinnacle of the sport at the Olympics, where she'll try to help the U.S. women win a third consecutive team gold medal and fourth overall. The Summer Games, which were delayed a year because of COVID-19, are set to begin July 23.
But don't worry, Auburn fans: She still plans to trade red, white and blue for blue and orange this year.
“I really do want to go to college and do college gymnastics. I chose Auburn because I really like the campus and all the coaches," Lee told reporters before the trials. "I’m really excited to get there.”
First, though, there are some medals she'd like to win in Tokyo.