Eileen Gu did what she set out to do.
Gu, 18 years old from California is playing for China at the Beijing Olympics, having won two medals in the freestyle skiing events. She took gold in the big air last week and almost missed another game in sloppy style on Tuesday, Silver finish.
On Friday, she stepped into half-time – which she believes is the best of her three events – in search of the perfect trio.
With a large base of Chinese fans cheering on her every trick, she easily scored 95.25 on her second run, putting her well ahead of the rest of the field. By the time she prepared for her third run, she had already won a gold medal.
Her second-half victory fulfilled the goal she had set for the Winter Olympics: to win three medals for China.
Gu was about to try one last run with a hard 10 cork, to show off a bit, but her teammate Kexin Zhang fell and hit her head on the head, then managed to get up before slipping halfway down the round. . That has led Gu to reconsider a risky escape.
“It woke me up, and I’ve never won before in my life, so I felt like, ‘You know, the last event at the Olympics, it feels like I finally deserve it,'” she said. “I’m really happy.”
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The Canadians are behind Gu, with Cassie Sharpe taking the silver medal and Rachael Karker taking the bronze. Sharpe, who won gold at the 2018 Olympics, returned from knee surgery last year.
“I made it through hell and back last year, so I’m so grateful that all the hard work I’ve worked for has come together today,” she said.
Gu’s rivalry also featured her top competitor, Kelly Sildaru of Estonia, the only other woman to have competed in all three of Gu’s events. Sildaru, who finished fourth, said the half-pipe was a bit slow on Friday when it was windy, especially the right wall. But she was happy with her performance.
“This Olympics is amazing,” she said. “Now I’m just happy that I can go home and rest a bit.” She won a medal, a bronze in the sport of dressing.
The United States has a strong team, led by 17-year-old Hanna Faulhaber, who finished fourth at last year’s world championships, and 32-year-old Brita Sigourney, who won an Olympic bronze medal four years ago. Faulhaber finished sixth, Sigourney 10th and Carly Margulies 11th in the 12 women’s final.
Gu has attracted international attention – and some debate – for her decision in 2019 to represent her mother’s hometown.
The decision was barely recognized when she was just 15 years old and the Beijing Olympics were almost three years away. Now, Gu dominates his sport and finds himself at the forefront of a growing geopolitical rift between his two nations.
Yan Gu, Eileen’s mother, was born in Shanghai and raised in Beijing, the daughter of a government engineer. She immigrated to the United States about 30 years ago for graduate study and settled in San Francisco.
Eileen Gu, raised in San Francisco, became a model, representing luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Tiffany. She has so much sponsorship in China that she is ubiquitous in advertisements and receives brilliant coverage from the state media.
Gu has said that she wants to be the bridge between the United States and China, while inspiring young women and helping China’s nascent winter sports industry flourish. She and her mother have refused to discuss any political thorny issues involving rival countries.
Gu knew that the past two weeks would change her life forever.
“It’s been two weeks in a row through the most intense highs and lows I’ve ever experienced in my life,” she said.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/17/sports/olympics/eileen-gu-halfpipe-skiing-gold.html Eileen Gu wins gold in Freeski Halfpipe