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Student scores perfect 10 on beam then makes college history on bars
I've never seen a more perfect landing. What a night she had.
Eduardo Gaskell
03.18.22

Olympic gold medalist Suni Lee in no stranger to pressure. Lee, like any other athlete, is competitive and will not settle for anything less than perfection.

So on a Friday night meet against Kentucky, the gymnast made history by hitting the Nabieva for the first time in the entire history of the NCAA.

It’s a G-rated skill, meaning it is one of the most difficult of gymnastic skills.

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The Nabieva is named after Russian gymnast Tatiana Olegovna Nabieva who introduced the skill. It consists of the gymnast laying vertically over the high bar, swinging herself around, then passing over the bar backwards and then grabbing it again.

It’s a little confusing to imagine but once you see it, your jaw will drop.

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The 18-year-old Lee took matters into her own hands, as her team seemed to be suffering from low marks.

So she decided to change the atmosphere, stunning not just the entire crowd, but her teammates as well.

Lee decided to debut the Nabieva. This is the first time the skill has ever been performed in NCAA gymnastics.

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She stuck the landing alright, missing a perfect 10 but still settling for a 9.875. The crowd let the judges know how they felt about it though, and you can’t really blame them after Lee’s stunning routine.

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Lee’s flawless balance beam routine was another stunner of moves.

“It’s so fun for me, because growing up watching college gymnastics … you always knew what to expect,” Lee said. “When I go out there, I want people to not know what I’m going to do.”

She’s a confident young woman!

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And like all the potential greats, Lee thrives when challenged.

“She needs to be challenged,” her coach said. “She gets bored easily. And when you get bored in this sport, you make silly mistakes. We need to continue to challenge her, and we need to continue to take the kid gloves off. She’s ready to continue to improve. There’s more in the tank.”

This makes Lee the second Auburn gymnast to ever score two perfect 10s in her college career. She joins Becky Erwin (1993).

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Landing a never before seen skill in college gymnastics amidst all that pressure is beyond impressive.

“It really does feel like a family the way we all celebrated together. It’s not like anything I’ve ever experienced in my life. It was pure happiness,” Lee said in an Auburn write-up.

“Our energy was way up there.” she added.

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Lee’s incredible performance has gone viral, and now, little girls aspiring to be gymnasts are attempting the Nabieva thanks to her.

And she won the all around at the meet too, with a score of 39.775. Auburn went on to win with a score of 197.925 to Kentucky’s 197.150.

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Now imagine all the hours she’s put in to practice. Athletes like her are borderline obsessed with nailing skills if it means securing a win over their competitors. All the greats did it.

Just make sure to stretch if you want to attempt this skill.

Watch Lee’s spectacular skills below!

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By Eduardo Gaskell
hi@sbly.com
Eduardo Gaskell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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