Suni Lee Shares Why She Turned Down Hailey Baldwin's Offer to Meet Justin Bieber at Met Gala

Suni Lee performed the jive to Justin Bieber and the Kid LAROI’s song “Stay” for her debut on Dancing With the Stars

Sometimes you can't bring yourself to meet your idol.

Suni Lee had the opportunity to meet Justin Bieber at the 2021 Met Gala earlier this month thanks to his wife Hailey Baldwin – but didn't accept.

In a sneak peek of her appearance on Thursday's episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the 18-year-old Olympic gold medalist recalled turning down the offer to meet Bieber, 27, and expressed her regret for not taking it.

"I met Rihanna," she told Ellen DeGeneres of her Met Gala experience. "I met Hailey Bieber—oh, my gosh, I love her."

"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,' " Lee recalled.

Suni Lee stops by “The <a href="" data-inlink="true">Ellen DeGeneres</a> Show”
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

The gymnast performed the jive to Bieber and The Kid LAROI's song "Stay" for her debut DWTS with Sasha Farber, earning a 28 a 40 score from the judges.

Lee clarified that when the time came for her to say hello to the "Peaches" singer during fashion's biggest night, however, she froze.

Sunisa Lee; <a href="" data-inlink="true">Justin Bieber</a> and <a href="" data-inlink="true">Hailey Bieber</a>
Sunisa Lee; Justin Bieber and Hailey Bieber. Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic; Matt Baron/Shutterstock

"Then when I got the chance to see him, I got too scared. I was like, 'I'm not doing it,' " she told DeGeneres, 63.

Shocked, the host asked "You didn't walk over to him and say hi? He's so nice. He's so sweet."

<a href="" data-inlink="true">Justin Bieber</a> and <a href="" data-inlink="true">Hailey Bieber</a> attend The 2021 Met Gala
Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue

"No, I was so scared," the Auburn University freshman admitted.

DeGeneres told the Olympian she hopes she'll be able to connect with Bieber in the future, to which she responded, "I hope so, too."

The DWTS contestant said she was once a total Belieber, explaining, "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."

"So Justin, if you're watching, just forget that I said that," she said with a laugh, adding, "Yeah, I really want to meet him."

Lee, the first-ever Hmong American Olympic gymnast, is a superstar in her own right.

Sunisa Lee of Team United States poses with her gold medal after winning the Women's All-Around Final on day six of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on July 29, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
Suni Lee. Jamie Squire/Getty

She won three medals during the Tokyo Summer Olympics: a gold in the individual all-around; silver with Simone Biles, Jordan Chiles and Grace McCallum during the team final; and bronze in the uneven bars.

Since her Olympic success, she started college, began competing on DWTS, and was named one of TIME magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World.

The outlet shared a video of Lee reacting to the happy news, which her sister shared. In the clip, she leaped into the air and exclaimed "No way!"

"This milestone has and continues to inspire the Hmong community," fellow Olympic champion Nastia Liukin wrote for TIME of Lee's success and larger impact. "But it also sends a simple yet powerful message to underrepresented people everywhere: Dream big because anything is possible."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free weekly newsletter to get the biggest news of the week delivered to your inbox every Friday.

Voicing her pride in representing the Hmong community, Lee told PEOPLE in June that her history-making accomplishment "means a lot to the Hmong community ... and to just be an inspiration to other Hmong people [means] a lot to me too."

Related Articles