MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – After her stunning performance at the Tokyo Olympics, Minnesota native Suni Lee was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.
The 18-year-old from St. Paul won the all-around gold medal, catapulting her to sports celebrity. TIME noted that Lee is the first American Hmong Olympian and said her performance not only showcased her incredible talent, but also signified representation.
“This step has and continues to inspire the Hmong community,” fellow gymnastics champion Nastia Liukin wrote for the magazine, “but it also sends a simple but powerful message to underrepresented people around the world: Dream big because everything is possible.”
Another influential person listed by the magazine has a connection to Minnesota: attorney Benjamin Crump, who represents the families of George Floyd and Daunte Wright. Writing for the magazine, activist Gwen Carr says Crump has always been attentive to defending families whose loved ones have been killed by police.
“His efforts made possible a guilty verdict that he described as a ‘turning point in history’,” Carr wrote.
Other most influential figures include pop singer Billie Eilish, Apple CEO Tim Cook and filmmaker Chloe Zhao.