HomeHAPAEileen Gu's victory causes Chinese social media platform to crash
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Eileen Gu’s victory causes Chinese social media platform to crash

Eileen Gu fans caused the Chinese social media platform Weibo to crash temporarily on Tuesday as many fans hopped online to celebrate her first Olympic gold medal.

American born Gu, 18, landed on top for the women’s freeski big air on Tuesday representing China with a total score of 188.25. 

Less than 30 minutes after her victory, fans on her Weibo, where she has 2.6 million followers, left more than 90,000 comments, according to Insider

Social media attention of Gu didn’t stop there. Of the top 10 trending topics on Weibo, five were about the Olympic winning champion, according to NBC Chicago.

Hashtags related to Gu’s victory received large attention as well, receiving more than 300 million views an hour. This eventually caused the Weibo site to crash temporarily, according to CNN

“Gu Ailing is a genius young woman right?” was just one of many trending topics about Gu, referencing her Chinese name, according to NBC Chicago.

Gu was born and raised in California by an American father and a Chinese mother. In 2019, she decided to represent China.

It has been unclear if she has renounced her American citizenship, as China does not allow dual citizenship. 

Gu has not explicitly committed on what citizenship she holds, according to Insider. However, an article posted last January on the official Olympic site mentions her “dual nationality.”

In the press conference after her victory on Tuesday, several reporters asked Gu about her American citizenship. She avoided answering the question, according to Insider.

“I definitely feel just as American as I am Chinese,” she said. “I’m American when I am in the US and I’m Chinese when I’m in China.

“I’ve been very outspoken about my gratitude to both the US and China for making me the person who I am.”

Other than being a successful skier, Gu is a model, brand ambassador for luxury brands such as Tiffany & Co., and also a soon-to-be Stanford University student.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. This sentence implies that only white people can be American? “Gu was born and raised in California by an American father and a Chinese mother. In 2019, she decided to represent China.” Let’s not continue to “foreignize” American-born and naturalized Asians.

  2. They left it vague so as to not racialize the story, nothing more than that. Although she IS half European-American [White].

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