Eileen Feng Gu (born September 3, 2003), also known as Gu Ailing in Chinese, is an American-born freestyle skier. Since 2019, she has competed in halfpipe, slopestyle, and big air events for China. A gold medal in big air and halfpipe and a silver medal in slopestyle were won by Gu at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, making him the youngest Olympic champion in freestyle skiing. It is the first time in the history of the Winter Olympics that a freestyle skier has won three medals. She was raised by her mother and maternal grandparents. She was the granddaughter of a chief electrical engineer of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of China.
In addition to Mandarin Chinese, she is fluent in English. As a hobby, she plays the piano. Gu mentioned in May 2022 that she had recently converted to Buddhism. As a result of geopolitical tensions between the United States and China, her decision to switch from Team USA to Team China attracted international attention. According to her Chinese social media accounts, she is known as a “Frog Princess.” Her nickname is derived from a green helmet she wore during a competition. She was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world under the ‘Pioneers’ category on Time’s annual list of influential people in 2022.
Eileen Gu Bio/Wiki
The table below reveals concise information about Eileen Gu. It gives you the ability to read through the American-born freestyle skier’s profile as fast as possible.
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Eileen Gu Family – Parents And Education
A Chinese first-generation immigrant mother, Yan Gu, and an American father gave birth to Eileen Gu on September 3, 2003, in San Francisco, California, United States. She has declined to comment about her father, who is referred to as a Harvard University graduate in the Chinese media.
Gu was born to her mother at the age of 40 and was raised as a single parent by her mother. Her mother studied chemical engineering at Peking University in the 1980s as a member of the short-track speed skating team and as a ski coach.
As a student in her twenties, Yan emigrated to the United States and enrolled at Auburn University and Rockefeller University. As part of her MBA program at Stanford University, she relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where she enrolled Gu in skiing lessons at Lake Tahoe, “intentionally creating a pro skier.” Yan’s career included working for investment banks in the U.S. as well as venture capital firms in California and China.
Gu grew up in the Sea Cliff neighborhood of San Francisco. After attending Katherine Delmar Burke School for grades K-8, she attended San Francisco University High School. Gu traveled to Beijing every summer to attend cram school for mathematics. Her SAT score was 1580 out of 1600.
Gu graduated early from high school in 2021. Stanford University, her mother’s alma mater, granted her early admission in December 2020, and she began studying there in the fall of 2022.
Eileen Gu Nationality And Citizenship
At the 2018–19 FIS Freestyle Ski World Cup, Gu represented the United States. Having requested a change of nation from the International Ski Federation in June 2019, she has competed for China since then. It was her goal to represent China at the 2022 Winter Olympics.
On Instagram, she announced the change, saying she hopes through skiing “to inspire millions of youths” in China and “to unite people, promote common understanding, foster communication, and form international friendships.”
Gu has declined to reveal her nationality. During a press conference during the 2022 Winter Olympics, Gu eluded six attempts by international reporters to clarify her nationality. Gu was born in the United States. As opposed to the United States, Chinese nationality law does not recognize dual citizenship.
A source informed the source that in order to qualify for the Chinese team, Gu would need to gain permanent residency status in China or become naturalized. However, naturalization is the only process that confers nationality and a passport as required by the sport governing bodies, not permanent residency.
As proof of her Chinese nationality acquired through naturalization in 2019, the Chinese Olympic Committee presented a copy of her Chinese passport to the International Olympic Committee. There is no evidence that she has given up her U.S. citizenship since if she had, her name would have appeared on the list of expatriates maintained by the United States government.
In an interview conducted in May 2022, Gu identified herself as an American. As Gu has stated in other interviews, “Nobody can deny that I am American, nobody can deny that I am Chinese,” and “In the U.S., I am American, but in China, I am Chinese.”
Eileen Gu Net Worth
Eileen Gu is an Olympic skier from the United States who competes for China. At the time of this writing, Eileen Gu has a net worth of $22 million. At the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, Eileen made her debut on the world stage by winning a number of medals for the Chinese team, including two gold medals.
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Prior to the games, Eileen signed dozens of endorsement agreements with brands around the world. She became the highest-paid athlete at the 2022 games as a result of these contracts. There will be more information about these deals later in the article.
As a result of her success and beauty, it is not surprising that Eileen Gu would be highly sought after as a model and product endorser. A total of 30 international and Chinese brands have signed endorsement contracts with her.
Prior to the 2022 games, she signed endorsement agreements worth $30 million with more than a dozen brands. It was common to see her face adorning the walls of subways, airports, and bus stops throughout China.
She has endorsement deals in the following categories:
- Luxury watches
- House paint
Revenue Split By The Chinese Government
Eileen’s timing is fortunate. Athletes from the previous Chinese Olympic cycle were prohibited from having any endorsement deals.
Deals had to be approved AND the athletes were required to split their income with the government if they had deals. It is unclear whether Eileen splits her income.
Eileen Gu Sports Career
Gu became the first woman in competition history to land a forward double cork 1440 in 2021.
- She joined The Wy’East Mountain Academy a training facility for Olympic skiers such as Nick Goepper and Alex Beaulieu.
- The head of school at Wy’East Mountain Academy, Mike Hanley, reported that Gu’s mother paid for the coaching and travel. “These sports are very expensive. Most Americans request favors, but Yan was willing to pay, which is very unusual in the action sports industry. She paid for coaching and travel.”
- The Woodward Tahoe Indoor Action Sports Hub trains next-generation athletes in snowboarding, freeskiing, skateboarding, BMX, freestyle mountain biking, and cheerleading.
- A former action sports coach at Woodward Tahoe, Jamie Melton is the head coach of the Chinese National Slopestyle and Big Air Training Team. Gu has been coached by Melton since she was ten years old.
- Brad Prosser, New Zealand coach – Prosser met Gu at the age of eleven. He was appointed technical coach guide of the Chinese national team in 2018.
- In 2022, Gu will be coached by Misra Noto Torniainen, a former coach of the Swiss Freeski team. During the 2018 Winter Olympics, Torniainen coached Olympic medalists Sarah Höfflin and Mathilde Gremaud.
During the Winter X Games of 2021, Gu won a bronze medal in Big Air, a gold medal in SuperPipe, and a gold medal in Slopestyle, becoming the first rookie to win a gold medal in Women’s Ski SuperPipe, the first rookie to medal in three events, and the first Chinese athlete to win a gold medal.
He won two gold medals in the Freeski Halfpipe and Freeski Slopestyle events as well as a bronze medal in the Freeski Big Air event at the FIS Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World Championships 2021.
Gu became the first freeskier to win two gold medals at the FIS Freeski World Championships. Having fractured a finger and torn the UCL in her thumb, she competed without poles for the first time.
Eileen Gu 2022 Winter Olympics
During the 2022 Winter Olympics, Gu won the first big air event ever held at the Olympics, becoming the youngest gold medalist in freestyle skiing. Her first attempt in the competition resulted in a double cork 1620.
She was the second woman to land the trick and the first woman to land a left-turn 1620; Tess Ledoux first successfully completed a double cork 1620 at the X Games in Aspen, Colorado on 21 January 2022, and landed it again at the 2022 Winter Olympics in the big air final on 21 January 2022.
In the slopestyle event, Gu won the silver medal. During the women’s halfpipe competition, she won a second gold medal, becoming the first freestyle skier to win three medals at a Winter Olympics. At the 2022 ESPY Awards, she received the Best Breakthrough Athlete and Best Female Action Sports Athlete awards.
World Cup results
During the 2021-2022 World Cup season, Gu finished with a perfect record in the women’s halfpipe, winning the first crystal globe of her career and becoming the first freestyle skier to win four consecutive World Cup competitions.
The same season, she won her second crystal globe, placing first in Park & Pipe.
Eileen Gu Endorsements And Modeling Career
Gu has been the face of several brands in China even before the start of the 2022 Winter Olympics. At least 23 brands are represented by Gu in China, including those in the sports, fashion, and banking industries. According to marketing expert Jerome Lau, “Gu can serve as a bridge between brands and Chinese consumers.”
As a leading sports star in China, Gu has earned over $30 million in endorsements and advertising contracts. Media reports indicate that her average fee for endorsements increased from $1 million in 2021 to $2 million to $2.5 million in 2022.
The agency representing Gu is IMG Models. The Chinese editions of Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Cosmopolitan, GQ, Marie Claire, V, L’Officiel, and Vogue have all featured her on their covers.
As a brand ambassador for Fendi, Gucci, IWC Schaffhausen, Tiffany & Co., and Louis Vuitton, Gu has been featured in campaigns for Western luxury brands. In addition to being a member of Victoria’s Secret’s VS Collective, she is also sponsored by Red Bull.
Social And Political Views
Since the 2021 Atlanta spa shootings and the killing of Vicha Ratanapakdee, Gu has spoken out against anti-Asian racism during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. An anti-Asian racist shouted obscenities at her and her grandmother in a store about “Asians infecting America” with COVID-19, as she described it in her own account.
Gu supports the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as Roe v. Wade, stated at an Aspen Ideas Festival that he thought of his friends, peers, and himself as young female athletes and the amount of time and effort they put into their work and training, and that “taking a season off or taking a year off to carry an unwanted pregnancy will absolutely destroy our career and our ambitions.”
Gu has largely refrained from commenting on social and political issues pertaining to China, including its human rights record. Gu’s agent, Tom Yaps, told The Economist that Gu’s mother, Yan Gu, feared that if Eileen participated in an article that was critical of China and human rights, her career would be destroyed.
Facts About Eileen Gu
- The athlete and model Eileen Gu is a 20-year-old American-Chinese. In the 2022 Beijing Olympics, she became the first freestyle skier to win three medals, two gold, and one silver.
- A Chinese mother and an American father raised Eileen in San Francisco, California. Yan Gu is the daughter of a former Chinese government official, who is an immigrant from China. In addition to being a former speed skater and ski instructor at Peking University, she has worked as a venture capitalist between California and China as well as for investment banks in the United States.
- In view of the Winter Olympics 2022, Gu has been deferred admission to Stanford University after graduating from San Francisco University High School with a high SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test for American High School Graduates) score of 1580.
- Her mother’s dream was for Eileen to be able to ski, which is why she enrolled in ski school in Lake Taho when she was nine years old.
- It was in Italy in 2019 that she tasted her first world cup victory. She then posted on her Instagram account that she had become a naturalized Chinese citizen and would represent China at the Winter Olympics in 2022.
- During the Lausanne 2020 Winter Olympics, she won two gold medals in the big air and halfpipe events as well as a silver medal in slopestyle.
- On her debut at the Winter X Games in 2021, she earned two gold medals in the superpipe and slopestyle categories and one bronze medal in the big air category, making her China’s first Winter X Games champion.
- Her journey through the 2020-2021 season was portrayed in a documentary series on Red Bull TV entitled Everyday Eileen. It documents her triumph at the World Championships, where she competed despite a fractured finger and a torn ulnar collateral ligament.
- After winning the halfpipe and slopestyle events at the 2021 International Ski Federation’s Freeski and Snowboard World Championships in Aspen, she became the only athlete to win two gold medals.
- At Mammoth Mountain in the United States, she participated in the International Ski Federation Freestyle Ski World Cup and won two events.
- Throughout the season, she was undefeated in the women’s halfpipe, winning four of four contests.
- During the season, she placed second in the women’s Freeski slopestyle.
- During the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022, Eileen was named the poster girl for the women’s Freeski big air event, in which she claimed her first gold medal. For her final performance, she performed a left double 1620, the biggest and highest-scoring trick, involving four and a half revolutions in the air and shifting twice from the axis. It was the first time she performed this trick and she had never performed it during practice.
- As a result of her win in the women’s Freeski slopestyle on 15 February 2022, she became the second woman to win a silver medal at the Winter Olympics.
- Aside from her outstanding athletic abilities, Eileen has a luxury fashion model appearance. Currently, she is a professional model for IMG Models, the agency that represents international models such as Bella Hadid, Kate Moss, and Hailey Bieber.
- With her ability to gracefully handle the topic of her nationality and ethnicity and her ability to maintain a robust fan following in both the nations that she represents, she has established herself as a highly bankable model, appealing to brands in both Asia and the West.
- A number of major Western brands have signed contracts with her, including Louis Vuitton, Victoria’s Secret, Tiffany & Co., and luxury Swiss watchmaker IWC, as well as cosmetics company Estée Lauder.
- She has become one of the most heavily sponsored athletes at the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022, with over 20 commercial partnerships.
- She has been invited to numerous A-list fashion shows, including Paris Fashion Week, Louis Vuitton’s front row, and the Met Gala.
- Her fluency in Mandarin and her knowledge of Chinese culture and customs, which she acquired while visiting the country with her mother and grandmother most summers of her life, has also made her popular in China.
- Known as Gu Ailing in China, she has been dubbed the “Snow Princess,” which enhances her brand value. A black jacket embroidered with a golden dragon was displayed on her race bib as she discussed her performance in the qualifier round of the big air event with reporters. She explained that she designed the jacket using Chinese elements. Her endorsements range from Chinese television ads to billboards to milk cartons as the face of Inner Mongolia’s Mengniu Dairy. Additionally, she has modeled for brands such as China Mobile, JD.com, Bank of China, etc.
- Additionally, she has been featured in a number of top magazines in China, including GQ and Elle. On the cover of Vogue Hong Kong, she stated, “The fashion industry has helped me balance my training.”.
- Considering the dualities of her nationality and career, she commented on Instagram that it is a quality she has found herself embracing time and time again as she displays different facets of herself in different environments (athlete, model, student, Chinese, American, teenager, writer, public persona, etc.). Every coder switches, and I believe it is important that we acknowledge that multifaceted nature.”
- On 18 February 2022, she won her second gold at the Beijing Winter Olympics, topping the podium in the halfpipe final at Zhangjiakou’s Genting Snow Park, becoming the first freestyle skier to win three medals at a single competition. The athlete reacted by saying, “I feel like this all came together, years and years in the making, and it’s like releasing a deep breath when it all came together. Despite being exhausted from skiing every single day from the opening ceremony until now, I feel at peace. I am grateful. I am passionate, and I am proud.
- Due to all the questions regarding her nationality, she attracted controversy. She was born and raised in San Francisco, California, USA, but represented her mother’s home country China in 2019. Despite China not allowing dual citizenship, she has not officially given up her US citizenship and will join Stanford University after the Winter Olympics in 2022. In response to the numerous questions regarding her nationality, she has given diplomatic statements such as being Chinese in China and American in the USA. On one hand, Chinese fans are proud of her for reconnecting with her Chinese heritage, but on the other, US citizens have called her thankless. Fox News has called her the “ungrateful child of America.”
- Once again, the 19-year-old was caught in the middle of a controversy when one of her Instagram followers asked her why she was getting preferential treatment in China, where Chinese citizens are not allowed to use Instagram. To the comment, she replied that everyone can download VPN (an illegal method to circumvent the firewall boundaries set by the government) and use Instagram in China. A screenshot of this conversation went viral on Weibo (China’s version of Instagram). Posts with the comment started showing blank screens immediately after the Chinese government took action.
Every summer since she was two years old, Gu has returned to China with her mother, and she speaks fluent Chinese with a strong Beijing accent.
Eileen Gu was born to a Chinese first-generation immigrant mother, Yan Gu, and an American father. Chinese media refers to her father as a Harvard University graduate; Gu has declined to comment about him.
But now the 19-year-old freestyle skier is hitting the books as well as the slopes, and has officially begun life at the prestigious Stanford University in her native California, where she had deferred entry into the Class of 2022.
American Eileen Gu said she decided to compete in China to honor her mother, who was born there. It turned out to be a great financial choice, too.
An Appreciation Note For Your Consideration
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