Olympian makes history after performing difficult bar routine never been done in college gymnastics before

Suni Lee, Olympic Gold medalist, made history last month when she performed a jaw-dropping routine in college gymnastics called the Nabieva.

This iconic move is named after Tatiana Nabieva, a Russian gymnast who first performed it in 2010, when it was entered into Code of Points.

It’s a world-class skill that only a few gymnasts in the world can do, including the 18-year-old Lee.

Suni Lee wearing her dark blue leotard

The Nabieva involves swinging at the high bar with a straight back, passing over the bar backwards and then grabbing it again. It is rated as a G in Elite code, which indicates the most difficult rating for a bar-release.

Lee made jaws drop as she performed The Nabieva so flawlessly on February 25 during Auburn University’s meet against Kentucky in Auburn Arena. This was the first time this skill had been used in an NCAA competition.

After Lee landed her landing, her teammates started to celebrate with the crowd, knowing that this was gymnastics history.

Suni Lee performing The Nabieva

The young athlete received a score 9.975 for her routine. One judge gave her a perfect 10, while the other gave her a 9.950.

The Auburn freshman performed a flawless balance beam sequence before The Nabieva. This was her second perfect 10 and her first in Auburn Arena.

“It’s so fun for me, because growing up watching college gymnastics … you always knew what to expect,” she said. “When I go out there, I want people to not know what I’m going to do.”

Suni Lee holding scorecards showing the number 10

Auburn won the meet with a record-breaking 197.925 team score. Kentucky was third with a score of 197.150. Lee won with a 39.775 for the all-around.

“So surreal,” Lee said. “It really does feel like a family the way we all celebrated together. It’s not like anything I’ve ever experienced in my life. It was pure happiness. Our energy was way up there.”

Lee also made history by debuting a half-on-front layout vault a week prior to the meet. This vault had never been done at the collegiate level before. In her debut performance in the vault at the Georgia meet, she scored a 9.925. She was first in vault and in all events.

Suni Lee doing a gymnast's pose

“She needs to be challenged,” said Jeff Graba, Auburn head coach. “She gets bored easily. You make silly mistakes when you get bored with this sport. We need to keep challenging her and take off the kid gloves. She’s ready to continue to improve. There’s more in the tank.”

Lee is the second Auburn gymnast ever to score two perfect tens in college. Becky Erwin was first to accomplish the feat in 1993.

Lee previously performed The Nabieva Bar Routine while competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This routine was often proclaimed to be the best in all of the world. She won bars in the U.S. team trials and this was her highest score for the all-around final at the Olympics.

Suni Lee kissing her Olympic gold medal

Lee was awarded a gold and all-around Olympic champion medals. Lee also became the first Asian-American woman to win gold in this category.

Lee’s incredible feat will surely go down in history as one of the greatest moments in college gymnastics. She’s continuously changing the standard of what can be accomplished on the college gymnastics stage, and it’s exciting to see what she’ll do next.

Watch this gymnastics superstar’s amazing performance in the video below.

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