Ski olympian Eileen Gu becomes an advocate for many

A portrait taken of Eileen at the 2020 Winter Youth Olympics.
Photo by Martin Rulsch.

SAN JOSE, CALIF. — 18-year-old skiing Olympian Eileen Gu personifies excellence across many fields of skill, raising the bar for Olympic athlete greatness at the recent Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, on Feb. 8, 2022. Gu is a two-time gold medalist, IMG model and is entering Stanford University’s class of 2026. 

Regardless of being debated through different aspects, Gu’s achievements have been commended by both American and Chinese media. Gu is particularly beloved in China for having accomplished academic merit, studying as a math Olympiad at a tutoring center in Beijing annually. “My mother told me that having math classes in China for 10 days would be equivalent to an entire year’s worth of learning in the U.S.,” Gu disclosed to a Chinese domestic media outlet. Gu’s early decision acceptance to Stanford University can be linked as a byproduct of her studious dedication. 

Although Gu’s list of accomplishments seems never-ending, she utilizes them to provide advocacy well. Gu wrote to “NBC Sports,” “Change is made from the bottom up. All of us were little girls surrounded for the first time by people we were scared of in the beginning. But I just want to see more people out there.” Gu also elaborated to “China Daily News” on how her grandma’s influence served as the backbone of her academic excellence and instilled a sense of determination and strength in women, securing her a 1580 out of 1600 on the SATs. 

Better known as Ailing Gu throughout mainland China, Gu is a San Francisco native— born and raised in the United States to her mother, Yan Gu, a private investor and former ski instructor. Through honorable representation for her mother’s homeland of Beijing, Gu made the decision to take part in China’s international skiing team despite initially competing for the U.S. subsequent to the 2019 Italy World Cup. 

I am proud of my heritage and equally proud of my American upbringing. Through skiing, I hope to unite people, promote common understanding, create communication, and forge friendships between nations.

Ailing Eileen Gu

Ailing Eileen Gu’s Olympic Profile:

While a minority of the American public criticized Gu’s decision to compete for the Chinese Olympic ski team, several other American media outlets fawned over the ski sensation, sporting headlines like “Why Eileen Gu is luxury fashion’s dream model” and “Fox News and others called Eileen Gu a ‘Traitor.’ Here’s the truth they won’t acknowledge.” Gu’s mass appeal in both the Chinese and American public assisted her career greatly, scoring brand deals with luxury brands such as Tiffany & Co. and Louis Vuitton as a model for the internationally renowned agency IMG Models.

Gu Ailing Eileen’s first run for the Women’s Freeski Big Air Qualification at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Photo Credit: J.O.S.O. Photos

Gu’s impressive and inspiring portfolio is one to share, setting a pragmatic and universal example for both young and old individuals especially at Silver Creek looking to succeed in intellectual and athletic abilities. She lays a foundation and is not only a fashion model, but a role model for those working to academically excel in their future careers. 

Silver Creek’s atmosphere encourages students to push themselves to improve their academic and performing abilities, emphasizing Gu’s role as an advocate. Whether students keep up with the Olympics or not, Gu’s impact reaches from far beyond. Getting more hours of sleep, striving for what is deemed impossible, and studying to your limits instills drive and efficiency in all aspects of life. Gu most definitely does it again, constantly raising the bar for all and doing it flawlessly. 

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