Sports Illustrated has named Olympic gold medallists, Sunisa Lee and Caeleb Dressel, as their Athletes of the Year.
Both Lee and Dressel took their careers to new heights when they embarked on the Tokyo Olympic Games earlier this year.
In the absence of Simone Biles, who withdrew from all gymnastics events aside from the balance beam, Suni Lee picked up a well-earned gold medal in the women’s all-around final.
The first-generation Hmong American also helped the USA achieve a silver medal in the women’s team all-round.
Lee earned a third Olympic medal in the uneven bars, collecting bronze.
“The one thing that I would say would be you don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great,” said the 18-year-old.
“And I think that’s something that’s so important because people tend to get caught up in trying to live up to a standard.”
25-year-old Caeleb Dressel ensured that his name went on the history books when he broke onto the scene in Tokyo.
He swam six different events, walking away with five medals and setting record-breaking times in the process.
Dressel became just the third American male swimmer to win three individual gold medals during a single Summer Olympics.
When accepting his awards, he talked about his coach who helped him rise to the form of his life in time for Tokyo.
“To be honest, I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m really good at swimming fast, but I don’t know how to swim fast. I need someone to teach me that,” he said.
“And Troy’s [his coach] the guy that tells me what to do.”
“My family in the front row, my wife, my agent. I have people who tell me what to do, and that’s what I’m good at.”
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