Olympics Reside Updates: Eileen Gu Wins First Gold Medal in Beijing

Credit score…Gabriela Bhaskar/The New York Instances

[Follow our live coverage of Nathan Chen and Yuzuru Hanyu at the Winter Olympics.]

For 2 days, social media customers in China have been heaping scorn onto Beverly Zhu, a 19-year-old determine skater who was born and raised in the US however competes for China underneath the title Zhu Yi.

The criticism started on Sunday, when the naturalized athlete fell throughout the girls’s singles brief program within the workforce occasion.

By that afternoon, the hashtag #ZhuYiFellDown had been considered greater than 200 million occasions on Weibo, a preferred Chinese language social media platform. Commenters referred to as her “shameless,” “rotten” and an “embarrassment.”

In an uncommon transfer, Weibo stepped in by Sunday night to ban the hashtag. It didn’t present a purpose, citing solely “related tips and insurance policies.”

“I’m upset and slightly embarrassed,” a tearful Zhu stated after the competitors, in line with Reuters. “I suppose I felt loads of stress as a result of I do know everyone in China was fairly shocked with the choice for girls’ singles, and I simply actually wished to point out them what I used to be in a position to do, however sadly I didn’t.”

Searches for Zhu’s title remained seen. Furor erupted once more on Monday, after she stumbled twice throughout her free skate occasion. Zhu, who broke out in tears throughout this system, completed final.

“Don’t cry, I’m the one who needs to cry,” one commenter wrote on-line.

Chinese language athletes face monumental stress to win medals and produce glory to the nation. The criticism of Zhu confirmed how naturalized athletes have been typically topic to even harsher scrutiny.

Earlier than the 2022 Video games, Zhu had come underneath assault for her obvious incapability to talk fluent Chinese language. The uproar is in distinction to the worldwide consideration on Eileen Gu, the star skier who was born and raised in California however can also be competing for China, and is broadly favored to be a gold medal contender.

Some social media customers instructed, with out proof, that Zhu had gained a spot on the Chinese language Olympics workforce due to the prominence of her father, Tune-Chun Zhu, a pc scientist who relocated to Peking University from the US.

Her unsteady performances additionally elicited sympathy from some customers. Even Hu Xijin, a lately retired editor of World Instances, a brashly nationalist Chinese language newspaper, criticized the mockery of Zhu.

“To vent feelings on this younger athlete, utilizing social media to throw rocks down a nicely when she makes errors — that’s cyberbullying, and it doesn’t matter what it’s going too far,” Hu wrote in a commentary that was broadly shared on-line.

Chen Lu, a Chinese language former determine skater who gained bronze medals at two Olympics within the Nineties, stated Zhu’s errors mirrored the pressures of acting at a world occasion earlier than a Chinese language viewers.

“For Zhu Yi, the largest problem is lack of expertise in massive competitions,” Chen stated, according to Sohu, a Chinese language information web site. “She has by no means had this expertise of competing on her dwelling doorstep, and the stress is gigantic.”

Zhu is scheduled to compete once more within the girls’s singles skating program subsequent week. activities/olympics-medals-winter Olympics Reside Updates: Eileen Gu Wins First Gold Medal in Beijing

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