Freeski-Star Eileen Gu startet für China
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Christian Pondella / Red Bull Content Pool

Eileen Gu: 7 facts about China's freeski star

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At 18, Eileen Gu is already a star: Olympic gold medalist for China in freeskiing with a U.S. background, model for global brands, social media phenomenon, and soon to be an elite student. We introduce seven facts about Eileen Gu skier.


China or USA? Decision made with 15

Eileen Gu was born in San Francisco to a Chinese father and a US father. In her youth, she competed for the USA before announcing her decision to compete for China in the future on Instagram and the Chinese messenger service Sina Weibo when she was 15. Her U.S. citizenship remains unaffected.

"The opportunity to help inspire millions of young people during the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, my mother's birthplace, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to promote the sport I love," Gu said, explaining her decision.

Gu triumphed in Beijing in the first Olympic staging of the women's big air competition. "This is the best moment of my life. I can't believe what just happened," Gu said after the victory, "I did everything I could, and I sent a message to the world about my character, my spirit and my mission, which has always been to go beyond my own limits. I hope my impact will go beyond a medal."


X Games 2021: The big breakthrough of Eileen Gu

Chinese skier Eileen Gu celebrated her final breakthrough into the world's sporting elite at the X Games in Aspen in 2021. She was the only woman ever to compete in three disciplines there - and cleaned up big time: gold in the superpipe, gold in the halfpipe and big air bronze to boot. Gu thus became the first Chinese woman ever to win a gold medal at the X Games.


World premiere: Eileen Gus Double Cork 1440

In November 2021, Eileen Gu achieved another first. On the Stubai Glacier, she was the first woman ever to stand a Double Cork 1440. The jump of four screws and two somersaults is another highlight of her already huge repertoire: Before the X Games, Gu has added two more trump cards for the fight for medals with the Rightside Double 1260 Weddle Grab and the Left Double 1080 Japan Grab.

At the 2022 Olympics, Gu also caused a premiere in the Big Air competition: she was the first woman ever to stand a "Left Double 1620″ with a "Safety grab".


Sponsors and suppliers from all over the world

With her special biography, the Chinese freestyle skier Eileen Gu is in demand among sponsors: she is a Red Bull athlete, and since 2020 has also been a brand ambassador for the Chinese outdoor and winter sports giant Anta Sports Products. In addition, she has advertising work for Therabody, jewelry manufacturer Tiffany, fashion brand Brunello Cucinelli

Gus skis come from Swiss freeski brand Faction, with whom she entered into a partnership at the end of 2019.


A social media star in East and West

With 140,000 subscribers, Eileen Gu is already doing well on Instagram. But that's nothing compared to her popularity on the Chinese short message service Sina Weibo, where her post about winning the X Games at the beginning of 2021 alone garnered 23 million views.


Model career as a second mainstay 

Even if Eileen Gu were to hang up the boards, she would still have plenty to do. Because in the meantime Eileen Gu model career is also on the rise. She is under contract with the model agency IMG Models Worldwide and has already graced the cover of Vogue and Chinese Elle, been invited to the Met Gala and Paris Fashion Week, and is no longer just trying out her skills in front of the camera. "Right now I'm working on a really exciting project with Vogue China where I get to go a little bit more behind the scenes, like creative director, and that's really exciting," Gu says.

Oh yes: She has of course already made it into the highly regarded Forbes "30 Under 30" list - in 2020 at the age of 17 as the youngest female athlete ever.


Because of Olympia: Stanford must wait

Eileen Gu still has one big project ahead of her: studying at the renowned Stanford University. Gu has already secured a place at the university where her mother once studied. However, she has to postpone the start of her studies because of the 2022 Olympic Games. Gu was also a candidate for the elite U.S. Presidential Scholars Program - a high-quality scholarship. Unusually for Gu, it didn't work out in the end. She was not one of the selected scholarship recipients. But Eileen Gu’s Stanford dream will definitely come true!