American gymnast Suni Lee just made history, winning gold in the all-around
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Suni Lee, 18, a Team USA member from Minnesota, became the Olympic all-around gymnastics champion on Thursday night.

"It feels super crazy, I definitely didn't think I'd be here in this moment with the gold medal," Lee said after her win. "I'm just super proud of myself for making it here because there was a point in time when I wanted to quit."

Lee may be proud of herself, but she is just as excited to share the victory with the Hmong community and her father. Lee is the first Hmong American athlete to ever compete in the Olympics and the first Asian American to win the gold in the Olympics' all-around competition.


The Hmong people are a Southeast Asian ethnic group that lives mostly in southern China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar. After the Vietnam War, many Hmong refugees settled in America, with the largest communities developing in California, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. As of the 2010 census, 260,073 Hmong people reside in the United States.

Lee says that the Hmong community back home is "really close." She says that her success "means a lot to the Hmong community ... and to just be an inspiration to other Hmong people [means] a lot to me too."

The gold medalist also shares the victory with her father John Lee who built her a balance beam when she was a child because her family couldn't afford to buy one. The beam still sits in the family's backyard to this day.

John Lee was injured in 2019 after falling from a ladder and became paralyzed from the chest down.

John's injury happened two days before his daughter was to participate in the 2019 U.S. National Gymnastics Championships. She almost backed out of the competition but her father encouraged her to continue from the hospital. She later told NBC that she thought of him "the whole time and it helped me a lot."

"I wish he was here," she said on the Today Show Thursday after her victory. "He always told me if I win the gold medal he would come out on the ground and do a backflip. It's sad that he can't be here, but this is our dream, and this our medal."

"We both worked for this. He sacrificed everything to put me in gymnastics. Both my parents really have," said Lee, one of six children in her family. "This is my family's medal, my medal, my coach's medal."

Lee had stated publicly that her goal was to win the silver in the all-around because she was competing against teammate Simone Biles who is considered by many to be the greatest gymnast of all time. Biles withdrew from the all-around because of mental stress, giving Lee a path to victory.

On Thursday, Lee seemed to nail every routine with a sense of ease like it was practice, not the greatest competition of her life. She performed exquisitely in the floor exercise, even though her coach, Jess Graba, added new choreography that morning.

Rebeca Andrade of Brazil won silver and Angelina Melnikova of Russia won the bronze in the all-around.

"I didn't even think I'd ever get here," Lee said after her victory. "It doesn't even feel like I'm in real life."



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Often, parents of children with special needs struggle to find Halloween costumes that will accommodate medical equipment or provide a proper fit. And figuring out how to make one? Yikes.

There's good news; shopDisney has added new ensembles to their already impressive line of adaptive play costumes. And from 8/30 - 9/26, there's a 20% off sale for all costume and costume accessory orders of $75+ with code Spooky.

When looking for the right costume, kids with unique needs have a lot of extra factors to consider: wheelchair wheels get tangled up in too-long material, feeding tubes could get twisted the wrong way, and children with sensory processing disorders struggle with the wrong kind of fabric, seams, or tags. There are a lot of different obstacles that can come between a kid and the ability to wear the costume of their choice, which is why it's so awesome that more and more companies are recognizing the need for inclusive creations that make it easy for everyone to enjoy the magic of make-believe.

Created with inclusivity in mind, the adaptive line is designed to discreetly accommodate tubes or wires from the front or the back, with lots of stretch, extra length and roomier cut, and self-stick fabric closures to make getting dressed hassle-free. The online shop provides details on sizing and breaks down the magical elements of each outfit and accessory, taking the guesswork out of selecting the perfect costume for the whole family.

Your child will be able to defeat Emperor Zurg in comfort with the Buzz Lightyear costume featuring a discreet flap opening at the front for easy tube access, with self-stick fabric closure. There is also an opening at the rear for wheelchair-friendly wear, and longer-length inseams to accommodate seated guests. To infinity and beyond!

An added bonus: many of the costumes offer a coordinating wheelchair cover set to add a major boost of fun. Kids can give their ride a total makeover—all covers are made to fit standard size chairs with 24" wheels—to transform it into anything from The Mandalorian's Razor Crest ship to Cinderella's Coach. Some options even come equipped with sounds and lights!

From babies to adults and adaptive to the group, shopDisney's expansive variety of Halloween costumes and accessories are inclusive of all.

Don't forget about your furry companions! Everyone loves to see a costumed pet trotting around, regardless of the occasion. You can literally dress your four-legged friend to look like Sven from Frozen, which might not sound like something you need in your life but...you totally do. CUTENESS OVERLOAD.

This year has been tough for everyone, so when a child gets that look of unfettered joy that comes from finally getting to wear the costume of their dreams, it's extra rewarding. Don't wait until the last minute to start looking for the right ensemble!


*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.

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Over the past six years, it feels like race relations have been on the decline in the U.S. We've lived through Donald Trump's appeals to America's racist underbelly. The nation has endured countless murders of unarmed Black people by police. We've also been bombarded with viral videos of people calling the police on people of color for simply going about their daily lives.

Earlier this year there was a series of incidents in which Asian-Americans were the targets of racist attacks inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given all that we've seen in the past half-decade, it makes sense for many to believe that race relations in the U.S. are on the decline.

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Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Did you know that girls who are encouraged to discover and develop their strengths tend to be more likely to achieve their goals? It's true. The question, however, is how to encourage girls to develop self-confidence and grow up healthy, educated, and independent.

The answer lies in Girls Inc., a national nonprofit serving girls ages 5-18 in more than 350 cities across North America. Since first forming in 1864 to serve girls and young women who were experiencing upheaval in the aftermath of the Civil War, they've been on a mission to inspire girls to kick butt and step into leadership roles — today and in the future.

This is why Macy's has committed to partnering with Girls Inc. and making it easy to support their mission. In a national campaign running throughout September 2021, customers can round up their in-store purchases to the nearest dollar or donate online to support Girls Inc. and empower girls throughout the country.


Kaylin St. Victor, a senior at Brentwood High School in New York, is one of those girls. She became involved in the Long Island affiliate of Girls Inc. when she was in 9th grade, quickly becoming a role model for her peers.

Photo courtesy of Macy's

Within her first year in the organization, she bravely took on speaking opportunities and participated in several summer programs focused on advocacy, leadership, and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). "The women that I met each have a story that inspires me to become a better person than I was yesterday," said St. Victor. She credits her time at Girls Inc. with making her stronger and more comfortable in her own skin — confidence that directly translates to high achievement in education and the workforce.

In 2020, Macy's helped raise $1.3 million in support of their STEM and college and career readiness programming for more than 26,000 girls. In fact, according to a recent study, Girls Inc. girls are significantly more likely than their peers to enjoy math and science, to be interested in STEM careers, and to perform better on standardized math tests.

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