The women's Olympic all-around title has been in U.S. hands since 2004 and it wasn't about to get away on Sunisa Lee's watch.
As the world continues to react to the absence of U.S. superstar Simone Biles, who withdrew from the team and individual all-around events for mental health reasons, Lee made sure there was no American letdown, scoring well on all four apparatuses on her way to the gold medal at Ariake Gymnastics Centre on Wednesday night.
"It's just so surreal and I haven't even let it sink in yet," Lee said.
Once Biles pulled out of the event, Lee was in the spotlight. Her teammates, however, told her to block out te outside noise.
"They told me to just go out there and not worry about anything else," Lee said.
With Biles, who won the title in 2016, watching from the stands, Lee laid down an early marker with a 14.600 on vault. She was masterful for the rest of the night on her way to the gold.
Lee capped her performance with a scintillating routine on floor that included a double double tuck and a double layout. She needed a score of 13.467 to take the lead from ROC athlete Angelina Melnikova. She scored 13.7.
Lee finished with an overall score of 57.433. Brazil's Rebeca Andrade, who led after the first two rotations, earned silver with 57.298 and bronze went to Melnikova, who scored 57.199.
Andrade is the first Brazilian to earn a medal in artistic gymnastics.
"This medal represents all Brazilians," she said.
Melnikova, meanwhile, has another medal to add to the gold she won at the team all-around.
Japan's Mai Murakami placed fifth with 56.032.
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