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Eileen Gu’s Decision to Compete for China is Surrounded by Controversy

There has been controversy surrounding the “Snow Princess” also known as Eileen Gu and China’s patriotism towards her. Gu is a 18-year-old U.S. born freestyle skier for the Chinese team. She is considered a prominent figure for China at the Winter Olympics. Gu was able to win gold at the Beijing 2022 games. Along with being a freestyle skier at the Olympics, Gu also has modeled for reputable brands such as Vogue China, Louis Vuitton, and Victoria’s Secret.

China’s patriotism for her comes into question because she has represented the U.S. for most of her career. In 2019, she decided to represent China, but she still lives in the U.S. Nikki Haley, former UN ambassador, expressed how she feels Gu has to “pick a side.” In a statement, she said, “In terms of citizenship, look, China or the U.S.? You have got to pick a side. Period. You’ve got to pick a side because you’re either American or you’re Chinese, and they are two different countries.”

Gu herself made a statement on her Instagram in regards to competing for Team China. She said, “I have decided to compete for China in the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics. This was an incredibly tough decision for me to make. I am extremely thankful for U.S. Ski & Snowboard and the Chinese Ski Association for having the vision and belief in me to make my dreams come true. I am proud of my heritage, and equally proud of my American upbringings. 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. 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 come true.”

Gu has not spoken up about the citizenship she holds and China does not recognize dual citizenship.

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