Facebook Twitter

Who is Olympic star Eileen Gu? Why is she competing for China?

Eileen Gu has become an internet sensation. Here’s what we know about her

SHARE Who is Olympic star Eileen Gu? Why is she competing for China?
Gold medalist Eileen Gu of China in Beijing.

Gold medalist Eileen Gu of China celebrates during the medal ceremony for the women’s freestyle skiing big air event at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022, in Beijing.

Natacha Pisarenko, Associated Press

Eileen Gu is taking the internet by storm, and it may only be the beginning of her career.

What’s going on: Gu won her first gold medal Tuesday after securing the top spot in the women’s big air competition, CNN reports.

  • In response, China’s Twitter-like platform Weibo crashed as people celebrated her victory.
  • In fact, seven of the top 10 trending topics on the platform were about her victory.

What she said: “That was the best moment of my life. The happiest moment, day, whatever — of my life. I just cannot believe what just happened,” said Gu, per CNN.

More about Gu: Eileen Gu was born in America, but she competes for China on the international stage.

  • She was born in San Francisco in September 2003. She is the child of an American father and a Chinese mother, according to Yahoo! Sports.
  • “Raised by her mother and maternal grandmother, Gu maintained a deep connection to China even as she grew up American,” Yahoo! Sports reports.


Per The New York Times, Gu’s mom, Yan, raised her daughter alone in San Francisco. The two would often make summer trips to Beijing.

Gu announced that she would ski for China in an Instagram post in 2019.

  • “I am proud of my heritage, and equally proud of my American upbringings,” she said, and then laid out her intentions.”
  • “The opportunity to help inspire millions of young people where my mom was born, during the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help to promote the sport I love,” Gu wrote.
  • “Through skiing, I hope to unite people, promote common understanding, create communication, and forge friendships between nations. If I can help to inspire one young girl to break a boundary, my wishes will have come true.”