Eileen Gu is American. She was born and raised in San Francisco, California.
Why then did Gu celebrate winning gold in the women’s big air event under the Chinese flag?
At 18 years old, Gu is one of the best skiers in the world. She plans to attend Stanford University. But this year at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, rather than compete for her home country, she’s skiing for team China.
A bylaw in the Olympic Charter states that athletes with dual citizenship can represent the country they choose. The problem is, China does not allow dual citizenship and Gu is not a Chinese citizen, as far as anyone knows.
The question then becomes, did Gu renounce her citizenship in the U.S.?
“I know that I have a good heart and I know that my reasons for making the decisions I do are based on a greater common interest and something I feel like are for the greater good,” Gu said at a press conference after her gold medal run. “If other people don’t really believe that’s where I’m coming from that just reflects that they do not have the empathy to empathize with a good heart.”
She finished with some snark. “If people don’t believe me and don’t like me then that’s their loss,” she said.
“They’re never going to win the Olympics.”