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Hmong American gymnast Sunisa "Suni" Lee won the gold medal in the individual all-around event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This essay analyzes the media frenzy surrounding Lee's rise to Olympic stardom in US gymnastics. In particular, it focuses on how the media narrate Lee's family and Hmong ethnic history of being refugees to becoming an Olympic gold medalist. This essay deconstructs how the state exceptionalizes this history in the context of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in service of the imperial US nation-state in ways that recuperates US empire and bolsters US nationalism. The essay reveals the ways that ongoing anti-Asian racism in the US contradicts the state's claim to Lee's gold medal. Ultimately, the essay argues that Hmong American writing during Lee's Olympic journey presents a "state-less critique" that situates Lee's success in her ethnic Hmong American community and not within the nation-state.