Eileen Gu

Eileen Gu Citizenship Questions Abound After Dramatic Gold Medal Win

See her free ski highlights and learn more about the American-born athlete competing for China

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American-born Eileen Gu earned the first of what she and her many fans in Beijing hope could be three gold medals for China by cranking out the first 1620 of her career in the Olympic debut of women's freestyle skiing big air.

Her trick in her final turn stunned Tess Ledeux of France, the only other woman to ever land a 1620 in competition. Ledeux finished second.

Nicknamed the "Snow Princess," Gu has already reached hero status in China. Even star tennis player Peng Shuai, who has rarely appeared publicly since accusing a Chinese official of sexual assault, was in the stands.

Moments after the biggest run of her life, the 18-year-old freestyle skiing prodigy was asked about her status as a U.S. citizen, her feelings on Shuai and the incessant hate she's received on social media over competing for the host nation.

“If people don’t believe me, if people don’t like me, then that's their loss," Gu said. "They’re never going to win the Olympics.”

China doesn't recognize dual citizenship, and while a number of outlets have asked the skier about hers in Beijing, she dodged explicit questions on her U.S. standing. According to Reuters, state media report she renounced it at age 15, when she became a Chinese national.

Gu, who has an American father, was born and raised in San Francisco by her mother, who is from Beijing. While her mom has been a constant supporter, little is known about her father. Gu doesn't talk about him publicly and information on him is scarce, according to multiple outlets. The New York Times reports he is a Harvard graduate, but little else is known about the man behind in the epic free skier.

What is clear, though, is that his daughter will make Olympic headlines for years to come. Watch some of her highlights from the 2022 Winter Olympics below.

Eileen Gu lands clutch double cork 1620 to win big air gold

Sitting in third place in the women's freeski big air final, China's Eileen Gu stomped her first-ever leftside double cork 1620 in a competition. The trick moved her into first place and helped her secure a gold medal.

Best of Day 4: Chen, Cochran-Siegle are top U.S. performers

Look back on all the Day 4 action, from Nathan Chen putting together the highest men's short program in history, to Ryan Cochran-Siegle winning silver 50 years after his mother's gold and more.

Eileen Gu, Tess Ledeux battle for gold in freeski big air

American-born Eileen Gu of China and France's Tess Ledeux each scored 94.50 on their double cork 1620s, but Gu's double cork 1440 (93.75) bested Ledeux's switch 1440 (93.00) to earn her women's freeski big air gold.

China's Eileen Gu places 5th in big air qualifying, advance

U.S.-born Eileen Gu of China landed a double cork 1080 with Safety and Japan grabs and a 900 with a Buick grab on Runs 1 and 3 to score a 161.25 and place fifth in women's freeski big air qualifying, making to the final.

Freeskier Eileen Gu honored to inspire girls in sports

Freestyle skier Eileen Gu has become one of China's most visible athletes at the 2022 Winter Games, and she's championed women in sports the whole way.

Copyright NBC New York/Associated Press
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