All About Sunisa Lee's Olympic-Themed Acrylic Nails, Straight from Her Manicurist

The Olympic gold medalist visited Minneapolis nail salon Little Luxuries Nail Lounge before heading to the Tokyo Summer Games

Suni Lee's Olympic nails
Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Sunisa "Suni" Lee didn't just wow the world with her incredible gymnastics skills as she flipped and flew through the air at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Fans of the sport were also amazed to see the 18-year-old women's gymnastics individual all-around gold medalist execute such difficult moves all while rocking inch-long acrylic nails.

"Suni Lee is an icon and everything she did is impressive but I have to say that I'm most impressed that she did it all with these nails. Women are amazing," one person tweeted. Someone else wrote, "Suni Lee won Olympic gold in gymnastics and didn't break a single nail in the process. Mad respect #Tokyo2020."

But Lee is no stranger to long nails, so when she visited Minneapolis salon, Little Luxuries Nail Lounge, before jetting to Japan, it was no question that an acrylic manicure was the right choice.

"We have done Suni's nails on two occasions prior to the Olympics. For the Games, she wanted her usual short white coffin nails with an Olympic-inspired design," says Little Luxuries Nail Lounge CEO Amy Vang.

Suni Lee's Olympic nails
Little Luxuries Nail Lounge / Amy Vang

Nail artist Elizabeth Lee mocked up a design for the gymnast and when she arrived, they collaborated on the perfect look. "Suni decided on the trending wavy lines in red and blue to complement her Olympic leotard," Vang says.

Even though it can seem challenging to do everyday tasks — let alone gymnastics skills — with long acrylic nails, Vang says that Lee actually prefers a mani with length. But for the Olympics, the gymnast wanted her nails to be a little bit shorter than normal. "She requested them to be short, although she expressed that she loves wearing longer nails," Vang says. "She told us she's always worn acrylics and that it feels strange to not have them on."

Suni Lee's Olympic nails
Wally Skalij /Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Lee ended up returning to Little Luxuries Nail Lounge to have the wavy lines removed, so the design wouldn't pose any distraction to her while she twisted in the air.

"Unfortunately the [wavy lines] had to be removed later to prevent distraction during her routines, but she kept the free-handed Olympic rings," Vang says.

Suni Lee's Olympic nails
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Vang reminds all her clients who come to get acrylic nails just how important proper maintenance is even after leaving the salon.

"To keep your hands in tip-top shape, apply cuticle oil two to three times a day. It keeps the area moisturized and promotes healthy nail growth," she explains.

Suni Lee's Olympic nails
Little Luxuries Nail Lounge / Amy Vang

And even though acrylics are much stronger than traditional polish or gel manicures, Vang says care is key, because they can still snap.

"Do not use the tips of your acrylics in ways that will cause them to lose shape or structure. Although acrylics are extremely strong, they are not indestructible," she says. "Simply hitting them against something can cause a painful break."

Suni Lee's Olympic nails
Little Luxuries Nail Lounge / Amy Vang

Lee's Olympic manicure may not have lasted forever (acrylics should be filled every two to three weeks, Vang says), she did mark the memorable experience with an Olympic ring tattoo on the side of her wrist.

"Did a thingggg," she wrote alongside the shot, which featured Lee happily showing off her new body art at what appears to be a tattoo parlor.

sunisa lee
sunisa lee/instagram

Lee's fresh ink comes shortly after her return from the Tokyo Games, where she won three medals: 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.

Now, she's on to the next step of her gymnastics journey as an incoming freshman at Auburn University, where she will be an NCAA student-athlete.

"It's amazing how everyone here has been so supportive and so welcoming about me coming here," Lee told the school publication "I know it's crazy to have an Olympic gold medalist come but I'm excited because I feel like everybody here is so nice and the atmosphere is way different than I thought it would be."

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