Despite this Asian representation and the tremendous impact it had on my life, to this day, I have always felt like a minority. I am Hmong, an Asian ethnicity with roots in Vietnam, Thailand and Laos. The general population does not know we exist, although there are pockets of us throughout the United States, specifically in California, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio. I am a minority within the Asian minority. I never saw anyone with my background in the media for anything, let alone sports. Until now.
Suni Lee, a Hmong-American from Minnesota, is going to the Olympics to compete in gymnastics. While I’m a little too late in my Olympic pursuits, I love that I will be able to see a fellow Hmong-American on television as proof to my younger self and future children that Hmong people can achieve the seemingly impossible. We won’t be overlooked any longer. I will be cheering alongside Asians around the world as we follow Suni’s journey and know that this is just the beginning. As youth see themselves represented across elite sports, they’ll be reminded that they, too, can have the same success.