(We Chinese in America Media Editor Tang Zhao, February 7, 2022) The American Chinese mixed-race female freestyle skier Gu Ailing, who represents China, has received much publicity and attention from Chinese fans and official media, but has once again raised embarrassing discussions about her nationality. (Associated Press)

The American Chinese mixed-race female freestyle skier Gu Ailing, who was born in the United States and now represents China, participated in the Winter Olympics for the first time in Beijing, which attracted much publicity and attention from Chinese fans and official media, but also raised embarrassing discussions about her nationality.

Reuters reported that 18-year-old Eileen Gu is not only a fashion model, but also about to enter the prestigious Stanford University (Stanford University). After she officially joined the Chinese team in 2019, she was quickly seen as the best-known Chinese Winter Olympic athlete.

After Gu Ailing arrived in Beijing at the end of January, Chinese media reports and her active use of social media have further increased her popularity. The headline of China's official tabloid Global Times read on the 3rd: "Freestyle skiing star Gu Ailing represents true sportsmanship and is a super idol for young Chinese."

Gu Ailing, whose mother is from Beijing, represented China for the first time at the age of 15 and is now regarded as an Olympic gold favorite. In the Beijing Winter Olympics freestyle skiing, she will participate in three events: the big platform, the slope obstacle, and the U-shaped pool. The first competition is the big platform qualification on the 7th.

Topics related to Gu Ailing have been discussed on Chinese social media in recent weeks, from when she was in the front row when the Chinese team entered the field at the opening ceremony, to the choice of dumplings for her first meal after arriving in Beijing. The number of followers of Gu Ailing's Weibo account surged by hundreds of thousands within a month, reaching 1.7 million.

Chinese media have focused on Gu Ailing's fluent Chinese, her mixed-race face, her proud embrace of Chinese culture and her academic excellence as reasons for her popularity with the Chinese public.

However, the topic that Gu Ailing raised was also accompanied by controversy, especially when she transferred to the Chinese team after playing for the United States, the country where she was born and raised for many years.

Some Chinese netizens questioned whether she played for the Chinese team in the Beijing Winter Olympics and has given up her American citizenship. China does not allow dual citizenship; the local media has avoided discussing the topic.

The hashtag "Gu Ailing's Nationality" surged on Weibo from the 2nd to the 4th, accumulating hundreds of thousands of views. Netizen Tomson wrote: "Most British and Chinese people keep the passports of the People's Republic of China, but they are very careful not to be caught, so as not to have their (Chinese) passports cut... Compared with the dignity of the law and the gold medal of the Winter Olympics, which is more precious?"

There are also many fans of Gu Ailing who argue for her. Netizen mynameisliuxiaohun said: "Who cares if she has dual nationality! In any case, she is representing China and she is carrying the Chinese flag! The glory she has won belongs to China, will it be another country? Isn't that bad? "

Gu's sports agent, Tom Yaps, told Reuters that Gu could not be interviewed because the competition schedule was too full, and he did not respond to written questions.

(Source: Compiled from Online Information)


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