Six-time All-American Christine Peng-Peng Lee has been granted a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA and will return to the UCLA Gymnastics team for the 2018 season. Lee sat out the 2013 and 2014 seasons due to multiple knee surgeries.
"Words cannot describe how ecstatic I am to have been given the opportunity to compete another season," said Lee.
I am so thankful that I get to create more memories and bonds with my amazing team and share this last year with the Bruin family.
Lee, a Canadian National Team member and World Championships competitor, was sidelined for her first year at UCLA in 2013 after undergoing knee reconstruction surgery just before the 2012 Olympics. After rehabbing her knee that year, Lee was cleared to return to gymnastics only to discover in October 2013 that her knee had rejected the allograft used in her initial surgery. She had to undergo a second surgery, an ACL revision, that once again forced her to miss the season. She finally made her collegiate debut in 2015 and went on to earn first-team regular season All-America honors on uneven bars and balance beam. Lee's 2017 season was remarkable, as she was named the NACGC/W West Region Gymnast of the Year and the Pac-12 Specialist of the Year. She earned All-America honors for the regular season and postseason on uneven bars and scored two perfect 10s on the event and her first career perfect 10 on balance beam at the NCAA Super Six Team Finals.
"Having Peng with us for another season enriches our program in ways that are intangible and beyond exciting," said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field.
Her zest for everything she does in life is authentic, infectious and inspiring.Student-athletes have the opportunity to participate in four seasons of intercollegiate competition within a five-year period. A waiver of the five-year period of eligibility can be granted by the NCAA based on reasons that are beyond the control of the student-athlete.
With Lee's return, UCLA will have five All-Americans returning in 2018 -- Lee, Olympic gold medalists Kyla Ross and Madison Kocian, Katelyn Ohashi and Felicia Hano.