Eileen Gu will be a name you see more often in the next weeks. It will be a common effect to be the Olympic poster girl.

Gu’s presence in China is already huge, with the 18-year-old instantly recognisable from any number of advertising and sponsorship deals in the country. This exceptional freestyle skier is getting more love from the Winter Games.

It is a rare opportunity for Gu to visit the United States with her body. Gu is actually a resident of the United States. She was actually born in the United States.

It is perhaps the most intriguing element to the teenager’s story, that despite her upbringing in San Francisco, learning to ski at Lake Tahoe and being immersed in American culture, the pull to represent the country of her mother’s birth has proven too strong.

While she represented the States until the age of 15, it is while performing under the Five-star Red Flag that Gu’s career has soared – despite the controversy surrounding her switch.

China’s golden girl appears fearless, seamlessly making the switch from the youth to the senior circuit.

Her modelling career is just as difficult as the skiing, but she has also taken advantage of opportunities off the slopes. Throw in a place at Stanford University and an ability to speak out on matters of social interest and it’s clear that Gu is far from your average sports star. 

Eileen Gu is the poster girl for China at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing next month

Eileen Gu will be the face of China in the 2022 Winter Olympics, Beijing next month. 

The teenager was born in the US but has chosen to represent the birth country of her mother

Although she was born in America, the teenager has decided to represent her country of birth.

Gu has a huge following on social media and has more than 208,000 followers on Instagram

She has already appeared on the front cover of Vogue magazine in China

Gu enjoys a large social media following and more than 208,000 Instagram followers. In China, Gu was featured on the cover of Vogue (right).

Born in the States to an American father, Gu’s mother Yan, a keen skier herself, was the catalyst for her career on the slopes, booking her lessons so her daughter could keep up with her. 

She persevered and eventually rose to the top of the competition ranks. Even at 16, her ability was evident when she participated in the Winter Youth Olympics.

Gu was awarded two gold medals in 2020’s big air and halfpipe events less than one year after she made a formal request to the International Ski Federation for her allegiance switch. Silver was also awarded to her in slopestyle.

If that didn’t make the freestyle world sit up and take notice, her performance at her first X Games 12 months later forced them to.

Gu landed gold across two events – superpipe and slopestyle – as well as a bronze in the Big Air competition. Gu became the first Chinese athlet to win gold in superpipe and slopestyle, as well as the first rookie to receive three medals.

Gu sent shockwaves around the skiing world with her performance at the X Games in Aspen

Gu’s performance in the X Games at Aspen sent shockwaves through the ski world

The 18-year-old is already a famous face in China, with millions of views on her Weibo account

She is an 18-year old Chinese celebrity, already with millions of views to her Weibo profile

A month later, there was even more. She followed her X Games victory with yet more history at Aspen’s World Championships. 

Once again she came away with two golds, as well as another bronze, becoming the first ever skier to win multiple titles at the same World Championships as she competed in halfpipe, slopestyle, and Big Air – the same three in which she will compete in Beijing. Her feat was made even more remarkable by the fact that she did it with a fractured thumb, which Gu (17 years old) had sustained during practice.

Her natural instinct is to push the boundaries. She did so once again last November, pulling off the world’s first double cork 1440.

She pulled the move while training in Austria. The move contains four screws, and she also does two somersaults. She posted the feat on her Instagram, describing it as a ‘lil world first’.

This has allowed her to gain a massive online following. Gu is only 18 years old, but there are very few people in winter sports that can claim the same global appeal. 

Gu became the first person ever to pull off the freestyle move known as the double cork 1440

Gu is the first freestyler to do the “double cork 1440” move.

Her 208,000 Instagram followers may look impressive but they pale in comparison to her Chinese social media following.

Following her 2021 X Games triumph, she shared her story on Sina Weibo. This post was seen 23,000,000 times.

Although most of her fans are happy to support her on her amazing rise, there have been some who criticize Gu for her views regarding nationality.

Chinese law says that dual citizenship is prohibited. Therefore, Gu must have legally renounced the US status she held when changing allegiances to China in 2019.

She was just 15 years old at the time and US law would not have allowed her to. 

Eileen Gu poses with her mother Yan Gu, her inspiration for her freestyle skiing journey

Eileen Gu and Yan Gu, Yan Gu’s mother. Yan Gu was Eileen Gu’s inspiration during her freestyle ski journey.

As well as her prodigious skiing career, Gu has worked as a model and has huge global appeal

Gu’s prodigious ski career is not the only thing she has done. She has also worked as a model, and her appeal has been huge worldwide.

It had originally been accepted that Gu had relinquished her US citizenship – with her main sponsors Red Bull stating so on their website. This mention was removed and Gu has taken a bullish stance when asked.

‘Nobody can deny I’m American, nobody can deny I’m Chinese,’ she stated in an interview with the South China Morning Post in 2021.

Gu did not hesitate to express her opinions after hearing that China was responsible for Covid-19’s spread.

As a teenager, she is characterized by a strong personality. It’s not surprising that she also has ambitions for academic success.

Gu’s mother came originally from China to Stanford University. Gu plans to pursue a similar career after receiving a scholarship, although that will not happen until she is able to ski.

Her modeling career hasn’t been neglected. Elle and Vogue front covers have featured her in China. She’s also signed with IMG. She has also worked with Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co, with photoshoots sporadically punctuating her Instagram posts of time spent with family, friends and on the slopes.

Gu is hoping that her next photograph will feature a Gold Medal, and not a Gold Necklace. 

A Red Bull athlete, Gu has deferred her entry to Stanford University to focus on the Olympics

Gu, a Red Bull athlete has delayed her admission to Stanford University in order to concentrate on the Olympics.