Suni Lee says her square-tip nails aren't just for looks - they help her grip the uneven bars

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Suni Lee won the Olympic gold medal wearing acrylic nails.
Suni Lee said her acrylic nails are "good luck." Jamie Squire/Getty Images
  • Sunisa Lee won the all-around gymnastics gold at the Tokyo Olympics wearing acrylic nails. 

  • Lee told NBC that the square-shaped nails help her hold the uneven bars.

  • Lee said she sees her acrylic nails as "good luck," and she'll keep wearing them after the Olympics.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Team USA gymnast Sunisa Lee took home the gold in the individual all-around women's gymnastics at the Tokyo Olympics, and she did it all while sporting acrylic nails. 

The 18-year-old told NBC on Tuesday that her signature nail look is one of her has makeup and beauty rituals that she follows while preparing for gymnastics competitions. She said she typically competes while wearing false eyelashes, telling NBC: "I feel like a little boy without them."

As for her square-tip acrylic nails, she said they're "good luck" - and that they help her when she's competing on the uneven bars apparatus. 

"Whenever I miss the bar, it hurts really bad, so it makes me catch the bar. That's why I get them," Lee told NBC of her nails.

-#TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) August 4, 2021

Lee said that after her final uneven bars routine at the Tokyo Olympics, she removed the acrylic nails because she was "really mad" and because it was her last time competing in the event for the 2021 Olympic Games.

She also told NBC that she's planning on bringing back the square-shaped nails during her off-season. 

Suni Lee competed in the uneven beams wearing the square-tip nails.
Sunisa Lee competed in the women's uneven bars final at the Tokyo Olympics on August 1. Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

On Tuesday, Lee didn't have her signature nails done when she competed in the balance-beam event. She earned fifth place in the event, bringing an end to her Olympics journey with a total of three medals: bronze in the women's individual uneven bars event, silver in the team all-around, and gold in the individual all-around competition.

Suni Lee completed her bar routine with square acrylic tips on.
Sunisa Lee won the gold medal in Olympic-themed nails. Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Lee made headlines when she won the coveted individual all-around event after competing in the games for the first time. She was the first Hmong-American athlete to compete in the Olympic Games.

"It feels crazy, it is so surreal," Lee said after her all-around gold. "It's a dream come true. I don't even know what to say. It hasn't even sunk in. The past two years with COVID have been crazy. There was one point I wanted to quit. To be here and to be an Olympic gold medallist is just crazy."

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