Olympic gymnastics champ Suni Lee will have to wait to get new skill named after her

Suni Lee will have to wait to have her new skill on uneven bars named after her.

The reigning Olympic champion was not assigned to the World Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan, as she'd hoped. Lee didn't get any international assignments Tuesday, though she could still be sent to the Pacific Rim Championships later in the spring.

Lee had wanted to go to the World Cup so she could do her new skill — a release move where she launches herself off the top bar and does a full twisting forward somersault in a laid-out position before catching the bar again — and get it named after her. A gymnast has to do a skill at an internationally recognized meet for it to be added to the Code of Points, the sport's scoring system.

Olympic champion Suni Lee competes on the uneven bars during the 2024 Winter Cup on Saturday.
Olympic champion Suni Lee competes on the uneven bars during the 2024 Winter Cup on Saturday.

But Chellsie Memmel, the technical lead for the U.S. women's team, had signaled Friday that it wasn't a given Lee would be assigned to Baku.

"If we're sending someone just to do two events, who isn't currently on the national team, they need to place high," Memmel said.

OPINION: Suni Lee's rough Winter Cup day is reminder of what makes her a great

Lee did two events at last weekend's Winter Cup, her first meet since she withdrew from the world team selection camp last September because of a kidney ailment that severely limited her training. She fell twice on uneven bars, including on her new skill, and again on balance beam.

But she looked great during training, and there is every expectation she'll be back in top form with more time in the gym. She'd only been training full-time again for about six weeks before Winter Cup.

"I hope they do" send Lee to Baku, longtime coach Jess Graba said Saturday. "If they don't, then we go back and we train and we do other things."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Suni Lee is not assigned to World Cup; new skill will have to wait