Eileen Gu needed to make the greatest leap of her life in order to earn a gold medal in the Olympics. The 18-year-old from California had travelled to her mother’s homeland with the hopes of winning three gold medals at the Winter Olympics while representing her nation in three sports.
Gu stood on the ledge of a massive, contemporary large air jump, which was placed in an industrial park surrounded by concrete cooling towers, under the glare of a brilliant sun and the cameras of foreign news organisations. She was in third position with one jump left to complete the course.
Her mother got in touch with her. Yan Gu, who was born and raised in Beijing, was at the bottom of the leap, attempting to provide advise to her daughter.
Do the 1440 again, she instructed her, alluding to a four-rotation move that Gu had almost perfected earlier in the session. Perhaps it will help you to win a silver medal. Gu had other plans in mind.
Gu performed the move, which is formally a Left Double 1620 with a safety grab, for the first time, according to her, and it was the first time she had attempted it. It won her enough points to propel her to the top of the leaderboard. When France’s Tess Ledeux was unable to equal Gu’s score, Gu was awarded gold and Ledeux was awarded silver.
Gu was waiting for her results when Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee, approached her at the finish line and congratulated her. When the results were announced, Gu’s supporters in the grandstands erupted in applause and waved little Chinese flags.
When she was 15, and the Olympics were still more than three years away, the choice was scarcely acknowledged. Gu has risen to the top of her sport, and she now finds herself caught in the middle of a rising geopolitical split between her two nations.
Yan Gu, Eileen’s mother, was born and reared in Beijing, the daughter of a government engineer. She is the mother of two children. She immigrated to the United States around 30 years ago for postgraduate studies and resided in San Francisco at the time of her migration.
As a result of her mother’s guidance and upbringing in an upmarket San Francisco neighbourhood, Eileen Gu has gone on to represent top luxury companies such as Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Company. The fact that she has a large number of sponsorships in China means that she is a ubiquitous presence in commercials and gets positive news coverage from the official media.
Gu has said that she wishes to serve as a link between the United States and China, as well as an inspiration to young women and a supporter of the development of China’s fledgling winter sports sector. She and her mother have refused to speak about any of the serious geopolitical problems that have arisen between the two nations in the past.
After winning the gold medal on Tuesday, Gu was questioned at least six times whether she was still a citizen of the United States. China does not recognise the existence of dual citizenship. Without answering the issue, she chatted skilfully about the support she has gotten from both nations, about how she feels Chinese in China and American in the United States, and she never addressed the question.
Following her triumph, she spent two hours doing interviews and avoiding anybody who may be critical of her decision.
In her words, “no matter what I say, if people don’t have a good heart, they won’t trust me because they are unable to relate with individuals who do have a good heart.” “In that way, I feel as if it’s a lot simpler to shut out the hatred now,” says the author. They will also never know what it is like to win an Olympic gold medal since they will never have experienced it.”