Eileen Gu Wins Gold in Halfpipe – and Makes Olympic History

Eileen Gu looked effortless winning her third medal in 2022 Winter Games.

Gu also made history by winning three medals at the Winter Games.

Gu who is a competitor for China managed a 93.25 her first run. She was the leader. She had an even stronger showing in her second run, starting with back-to-back 900s, earning her a 95.25—a score that had the free skier smiling and giggling when it came in. The 18-year went into her third run knowing she’d already won gold.
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Canadians Cassie Sharpe (USA) and Rachael Kker (Canada) took bronze and silver, respectively. “I’m so proud of you guys,” Gu told her fellow medallists at the finish. “We’re so proud of you,” they replied.

Freestyle Skiing - Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Day 14
Al Bello—Getty Images Eileen Gu of Team China performs a trick on their third run during the Women’s Freestyle Freeski Halfpipe Final on Day 14 of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics at Genting Snow Park on February 18, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China.

Gu, who was born to an American mother and a Chinese father in San Francisco, wore a hat that had panda ears as she stood on the podium for the announcement of the results.

Gu Ailing is also known as her Chinese name. She had won silver in slopestyle and big air gold by February 8.

She isn’t just one of the best performing athletes of the Beijing Olympics, she’s also one of the most talked about. The skier, who was accepted into Stanford University and moonlights as a model for luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co., is so popular in China that chatter about her first gold medal temporarily crashed Chinese social media platform Weibo.

LEARN MORE Eileen Gu, a free-skier, navigates Beijing’s Road to the Winter Olympics

But she’s also faced criticism from some in the U.S. for choosing to compete for China at an Olympics marked by a diplomatic boycott over China’s human rights abuses. She’s also sparked anger by telling people to follow her on Instagram,China has blocked this.

Gu competed for the U.S. for a number of seasons, but at 15 she made the decision to switch her national affiliation in order to represent China in 2022.

Friday’s halfpipe was the final event for Gu at the Winter Olympics.


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