Eileen Gu on Bringing the World Together With the Olympics

Eileen Gu is a firm believer that sports can bring people together from all walks of the globe. She wants to contribute.

“I have always said that sports are this unique avenue to global communication, to interconnection and to building those bridges. It’s this microcosm that really gives me hope for society at large. I think that the Olympics are the biggest platform for that,” Gu said.

Olympic freestyle skiing champ, who was raised in the U.S. but now skis for China, attended the TIME100 Gala Wednesday in New York City. After becoming the youngest freestyle skiing champion in Beijing at the age of 18, the 18-year old appeared on 2022 TIME100. She also won silver in slopestyle and big air.

Gu yesterday announced at the TIME100 Summit she would serve as the ambassador of the United States bid to host the Winter Olympics 2030 or 2034 in Salt Lake City.

She explained on the Gala red carpet why she believes that sports have the ability to change the world. “Now there’s this amazing opportunity to introduce 15 more countries at the Salt Lake City Olympics, so it all comes together and I wanted to be a part of it,” she said.

Later, she said: “People have more impact than they realize,” adding, “Anybody can make that impact. I think as long as you find a way to make the world better in your own way, then that’s all we can ask.”

Gu pointed out that Gu was also one of the youngest participants at the TIME100 Gala.

“It is an honor beyond words to be a part of the TIME100 community now. As one of the younger people here it is my job to represent the younger generation and show that we have our voices too and that we want to be empowered, we want to see change, we want to find communication and connect with one another,” Gu said. “That’s something that I think is really beautiful. To be in this room with all these movers and shakers is a great honor to me.”

Returning after two years on pause, the TIME100 Gala is TIME’s annual celebration of the TIME100 list of the world’s most influential people, released this year on May 23. Gala participants include icons, change-makers and leaders from various industries. It is a vibrant evening filled with celebration, dialogue, and entertainment. This year’s Gala features live performances from Miranda Lambert and Mary J. Blige, two honorees on the 2022 TIME100 list. Further attendees from this year’s list include actors Andrew Garfield, Ariana DeBose, and Amanda Seyfried, musicians Jazmine Sullivan, Jon Batiste, and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, athlete Eileen Gu, director Taika Waititi, and legal activist Chase Strangio,

TIME and ABC are teaming up to offer viewers a unique television experience: the TIME100 Gala. TIME100: The World’s Most Influential People airs Sunday, June 12, 2008 at 8 PM EDT (ABC)This video features Simu Liu (host), Quinta Brunson (director), Sevgil Muzaieva (Ukrainian journalist) and much more.

—Mariah Espada contributed to this report.

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