Eileen Gu is a sizzling matter in China when even the transportation ministry joins within the celebration of her gold medal.
In an article posted on its official account on the social media platform WeChat, the ministry gleefully famous that Gu’s grandmother, Feng Guozhen, had labored for the ministry as a senior engineer. The article credited her for instilling in her granddaughter a “profound feeling” for China.
“Everyone seems to be happy with her!” it mentioned.
The ministry’s assertion was a part of a rare outpouring of adulation for Gu, the 18-year-old Californian who has develop into a star of the Winter Olympics.
So intense was the response on-line to her victory within the freeski huge air competitors on Tuesday that site visitors briefly overwhelmed the servers of Weibo, the favored Twitter-like platform, in accordance with an article by iFeng, a web site owned by Phoenix New Media.
Numerous tales about her had been among the many hottest subjects on the platform, together with seven of the highest 10. The hashtag #EileenGugoldmedal had been considered greater than two billion instances by Wednesday afternoon.
For Gu’s followers, no element about her life was too obscure.
There have been posts about her attending a summer season math camp in Beijing and getting 10 hours of sleep a day, prompting debates amongst customers about whether or not that was an excessive amount of or too little. A video interview on China’s state tv through which she mentioned she ate pork and leek dumplings after profitable the gold drew 2.5 million viewers.
Even earlier than the gold, Gu was a phenomenon. As an athlete and a mannequin, her picture is all over the place in China — on tv, billboards, apps and video platforms. In response to Chinese language media experiences, she has partnered with greater than 20 manufacturers, together with Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Firm, way over different A-list celebrities in China.
Not everybody was constructive. Like different athletes from overseas who’re competing underneath China’s flag, she has confronted questions of whether or not she had modified citizenship to compete for China quite than america, the place she grew up.
“Why doesn’t she dare to reply the query straight?” one remark mentioned after the information convention the place she was requested repeatedly. “It’s not laborious to say that she has given up her American citizenship, and now she solely has Chinese language nationality, proper?”
Doubters, for now, are positively within the minority on-line. “That is the constructive power idol that younger folks ought to pursue at this time, an all-around woman, virtually flawless!” learn a much more typical submit.
The celebration isn’t over. Gu has two extra events: slopestyle on Sunday and Monday, and halfpipe on Feb. 17 and 18.
Claire Fu contributed analysis.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/09/sports activities/olympics/eileen-gu-weibo-wechat.html Eileen Gu Fervor Takes Over China’s Social Media