Following a gold medal in women’s big air event and a silver in women’s slopestyle, American born Chinese skier Eileen Gu has a chance to earn her third medal of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in the women’s halfpipe event.
“My goal coming into the Olympics was to have one gold and have one more podium in a different event,” Gu said. “I’ve already met that goal and I’m going into my strongest event [halfpipe].”
But the halfpipe is not the only obstacle the 18-years-old skier will have to navigate.
Gu continues to receive questions regarding her decision to compete for her mother’s home country of China, which is to be expected considering China’s record of human rights abuses.
“I’m not trying to solve political problems right now,” Gu said, according to Fox News. “And I’m aware that I’m not able to do everything I want to do in this exact moment.”
“My biggest goal is for some girl to be sitting at home watching freeskiing for the first time and thinking, ‘Maybe that could be me some day,’” Gu continued. “Maybe she sees someone who looks like her doing it and thinks, ‘Hey, I can do that, too.’”
Following her gold medal win in the women’s big air competition, Gu was asked about the status of her U.S. citizenship, considering that China does not allow dual citizenship.
“I’ve always been super outspoken about my gratitude to the U.S., especially the U.S. team,” Gu said when asked if she had to give up her U.S. citizenship to compete for China. “I feel as though they’ve helped me out so much in my development, they continue to support me. And same with the Chinese team. They’ve always been super supportive and they’ve helped me so much. And so in that sense, I think that that speaks volumes to the ability of sport to bridge the gap and to be a force for unity.”
When pressed to answer the question by another reporter, Gu dodged the question by saying she’s “a kid.”
“Yeah, um, first of all, I’m an 18-year old girl,” Gu said when pressed to answer. “I’m a kid. I haven’t even gone to college yet. I’m a pretty normal person . . .”
“If people don’t have a good heart, they won’t believe me, because they can’t empathize with people who do have a good heart,” she continued. “And so in that sense, I feel as though it’s a lot easier to block out the hate now. And also, they’re never going to know what it feels like to win an Olympic gold medal.”
Gu has become the Chinese poster child for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Even though Gu is American, born and raised in San Francisco, she chose to represent her mother’s home country instead of Team USA, making the decision to represent China in 2019.
Following her second medal of the Beijing Games, Gu was asked about doing business in China. “I don’t really think of skiing as a business endeavor,” Gu said. “I guess it’s my job, but I also do it because I love it.
“I chose to ski for China because there’s this massive opportunity to spread the sport to people who haven’t even heard of it before,” she continued. “And honestly, I have met my goal. There are 300 million people on snow [in China], and to have even influenced a tiny fraction of that makes me immensely proud.”
“I feel as though I use my voice as much as I can in topics that are relevant and personal to myself and targeted toward people who are willing to listen to me,” Gu added.
Skiing in China certainly appears to be somewhat of a business endeavor for Gu, who reportedly made over $31 million in endorsements in 2021, according to CBN Data.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected].
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