Eileen Gu won a gold medal in the women’s Olympic freestyle skiing big air event on Tuesday in Beijing. The Chinese American freestyle skier received racist abuse and criticism after she chose to represent China at the Olympics instead of Team USA.
The 18-year-old won the gold medal with her final run, where she landed a double cork 1620. She scored 94.5 for that run, ultimately earning a total score of 188.25.
Gu is the second-ever female skier to land the skill in competition, Forbes reports. The first was French freeskier Tess Ledeux. Gu narrowly beat Ledeux for the gold medal on Tuesday.
After the scores came in, Gu paused her celebrations to comfort Ledeux, who was in tears.
Gu said she was in shock when she realized she had won the gold medal.
“That was the best moment of my life. The happiest moment, day, whatever — of my life. I just cannot believe what just happened,” she said during an interview on NBC’s broadcast.
Gu has faced racist abuse for choosing to represent China over Team USA. Fox News’ Tucker Carlson dedicated an entire segment of his show to criticizing her decision.
But the freestyle skier has also received support from Chinese and American fans.
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