suni lee

Suni Lee Reveals the Adorable Reason She Turned Down Offer to Meet Justin Bieber

Lee explained that one of the perks of her whirlwind rise to fame was getting to attend the 2021 Met Gala earlier this month

Suni Lee and Ellen DeGeneres
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

Gymnastics superstar Sunisa "Suni" Lee is known for having ice water in her veins, but when it comes to meeting the "Cold Water" singer, that's a different story.

Lee, 18, who earned Olympic gold in the individual all-around at the Tokyo Olympics, is set to appear on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on Thursday, Sept. 30. In a preview of her interview with the talk show host, Lee explained that one of the perks of her whirlwind rise to fame was getting to attend the 2021 Met Gala earlier this month, where she found herself in close proximity to the likes of Hailey Bieber and Justin Bieber.

"I met Rihanna, I met Hailey Bieber — oh, my gosh, I love her," the "Dancing With the Stars" contestant recalled to Ellen DeGeneres. "I talked to her, and I was shaking, and I was like, 'Hi, I'm Suni.' And then I was just telling her how I was dancing to Justin Bieber's 'Stay' for my first 'Dancing With the Stars' dance. And she's like, 'You should tell him.' And I'm like, 'OK.'"

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But as it turned out, Lee may have been nodding her head yes when she wanted to say no, as she ultimately couldn't quite work up the nerve to approach the 27-year-old Grammy winner.

"Then, when I got the chance to see him, I got too scared," the athlete adorably shared with a smile. "I was like, 'I'm not doing it.'"

This led a surprised DeGeneres to clarify, "You didn't walk over to him and say hi?" And Lee replied, "No, I was so scared."

DeGeneres assured Lee that Bieber is a sweetheart and that she should meet him at some point, and the gymnast confirmed that an introduction to the singer was still on her bucket list.

"I hope so, too, because me and my sister, when we were younger, we had posters of him and blankets of him, and the posters have kissy marks on it with red lipstick," Lee confessed. "So Justin, if you're watching, just forget that I said that." She went on to say, "Yeah, I really want to meet him."

Perhaps Justin Bieber will find a way to make that happen soon, and then there will be one less lonely gymnast.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

Suni Lee dominated the women’s gymnastics all-around on Thursday, winning the U.S. a gold medal for the fifth Olympics Games in a row. Lee and Jade Carey handily carried the torch after teammate Simone Biles dropped out of the women’s gymnastics all-around earlier this week, placing first and eighth overall.
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