According to Chinese Americans, the critical crossfire Ms. Gu has encountered has effects that extend far beyond the Olympics. Some people acknowledge finding themselves in the dualism she has chosen to embrace as she recently declared “I am both Chinese and American.” in an effort to bridge the divide
ZHANGJIAKOU, China – Eileen Gu was about to enter when she heard the announcer refer to her as a two-time gold medallist. She choked up when she realized what the title signified and how much the three medals she had achieved here meant.
She fought back tears, not wanting to appear overly sentimental. And then it was time for the 18-year-old freeskiing prodigy to take a celebratory victory lap.
“It was this incredible sense of relief,” Gu recalled afterwards. Taking a deep breath and just feeling everything was like releasing a really deep breath that I’d been holding for a long time. All of those little moments built up and paid off.”
Gu achieved her lofty ambition of winning three Olympic gold medals in freeskiing, establishing herself as the most prominent figure at these Games. With her big air and slopestyle victories, she became the first freeskier or action sports athlete to win three medals at the same Olympics, becoming the first to do so in history.
As Gu put it, “being able to achieve above and beyond the goals I set for myself makes me incredibly proud of myself, makes me incredibly grateful for the sport, and makes me realize just how lucky I am to be here” makes him “incredibly proud of himself, grateful for the sport, and realize just how lucky I am to be here.”
Despite the fact that her success catapulted her into the public eye, her background drew attention – both positive and negative – as the American-born Chinese actress struggled to both cross and remain above a geopolitical split that separated her two countries.
Gu, who was born and reared in San Francisco, opted in 2019 to represent China, the country where her mother, Yan, grew from, in the Olympics. China, in particular, has suffered as a result of the decision, despite the fact that the country has never been considered a winter sports superpower.
Its 14 medals so far have surpassed its previous best of 11 from both Torino and Vancouver – a difference made up by Gu’s three medals, which have brought its total to 14.
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In the midst of debates over who should take credit for her achievement and whether she should represent China in international competition, Gu has maintained her determination to encourage Chinese people – and young girls in particular – to get out on the snow.
The winner of the big air competition last week, Gu, expressed her hope that she would be able to use her platform to encourage more young females to participate in freeskiing. “That has always been my ultimate objective, and it has been since the beginning.” My message has remained same throughout the years. It’s just that I have a larger platform and more people are hearing me.”
In the halfpipe, he is unbeatable.
When it comes to accomplishing that aim, Gu has reason to be optimistic because her skiing career has provided her with a platform. She is virtually unbeatable in her chosen sport.
When she competed in the halfpipe final, her runs were so clearly the greatest that the judges only needed a few seconds to award her first place.
Gu’s second run improved her score and demonstrated the skills that have earned her the title of finest freeskier in the world. To begin, she landed back-to-back cork 900s on both walls, replicating her tricks on each. Her final move was an alley-oop flat spin 540 in two different directions, which she repeated on the bottom of the trick. To complete the maneuver, she must rotate up the pipe as she travels downward through it.
“She can pretty much mimic every single trick, which a lot of us struggle to do on our unnatural side, and she makes it look effortless,” said Brita Sigourney, an American gymnast who won a bronze medal at the 2018 World Championships in Budapest. It is just unrivaled when it comes to the mix of technicality and execution.”