Opportunity knocked and Lee kicked in the door

Published 11:30 am Saturday, July 31, 2021

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You’ve probably heard the saying that when opportunity knocks, let it in. Or you’ve heard someone reference leaving the door “cracked,” meaning there’s a chance someone else could take advantage of a little sliver of opportunity.

Life, as we all know, has a funny way of presenting those opportunities sometimes, and they never seem to come under the best of circumstances. For instance, a new job opportunity might have opened because someone else wasn’t so good at theirs.

Athletics continues to serve as a great metaphor for the crossroads we often run into in our own lives, and it proved it once again on Thursday.

By now you know that American Suni Lee, who plans to attend Auburn University, won the all-round title in gymnastics, essentially earning the title as the best individual gymnast in the world. Lee, a relative unknown to those of us that don’t regularly follow gymnastics, now has become one of, if not the biggest, star of the Olympic games, and we’re sure she’s about to rightfully cash in with endless opportunities.

You also know the other huge story from the Olympics, that Simone Biles, the face of the United States Olympic team, withdrew from the team competition and individual all-around after experiencing the “twistys,” which are essentially the yips with a cuter name. We wish Biles the best and hope to see her compete in these games somewhere, but even if she’s not able, we hope that she’s able to quickly overcome whatever she’s dealing with. The world misses her smiling face and unbelievable athletic ability, but none of that really matters right now. Her personal health is more important than the world being deprived of watching her perform, and we hope she’s able to get back into a good place.

With Biles unfortunately out of the all-around competition, it was clear that the door was left wide open for someone to take advantage of the grandest stage in sports. Lee certainly did that, and she earned her title with some unbelievable maneuvers that the majority of us would never be able to do.

Lee may have beaten Biles regardless, even if she was in the competition. The truth is that we’ll never know, and we really don’t think it matters. However, that old saying about opportunity still rings true, even though the circumstances weren’t perfect.

To be clear, Biles remains a huge star, the best of all-time. She deserves all the monikers, all the titles, all the accolades. Her past performances remain pristine, and she’s always been professional, representing her country well.

But her absence left a Texas-sized opportunity, and we were extremely proud to watch Lee, not only an American but a future Auburn Tiger, take full advantage of her chance in the limelight.

Rather than one extremely popular gymnast, our country now has two, and we think that’s pretty great.

Congrats to Lee and all the Americans who have performed well on the Olympic stage. It’s been extremely fun to watch.