Eileen Gu skied for China during the 2022 Winter Olympics. Now she will help the U.S. with its bid to host the 2030 or 2034 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
Gu announced that she had become an ambassador for the U.S. bid to host the Winter Olympics during the TIME100 Summit in New York, Bloomberg reports.
The 18-year-old freestyle skier won three medals at the Olympics: two gold medals and one silver medal. Her decision to represent China angered many racist Americans but earned her so much praise in China that the Chinese social media platform Weibo crashed.
Chinese fans are not angry with Gu’s decision to help the U.S. with its Olympic bid. According to South China Morning Post, many fans are celebrating her new ambassadorship on Weibo.
“Gu Ailing is an international ambassador and influential athlete,” said one user, according to South China Morning Post. “I feel that it is rare to have such an excellent woman with international characteristics.”
Gu believes embracing international relationships is what the Olympics is all about.
“I think that’s this beautiful example of globalism and of the capacity that we can use skiing and we can use sport and we can use winter sport to connect people,” she told TIME senior sports correspondent Sean Gregory. “Salt Lake specifically wants to become a global destination for athletes everywhere to come train there and they want to incorporate 15 new countries into the Winter Olympics. I think that’s something that’s really beautiful and I’ve always stood for that and so I’m really honored to be a part of the whole thing.”
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