Freestyle skier Eileen Gu becomes first Asian American to win three medals in a single Winter Olympics

eileen
  • Team China’s Eileen Gu won a gold medal on Friday's freeski halfpipe final, becoming the first freestyle skier to win three medals in a single Winter Olympics.
  • Gu finished with a total score of 95.25, while Canada’s Cassie Sharpe and Rachael Karker took silver and bronze medals.
  • The U.S. born 18-year-old had previously won her first gold in the big air competition and a silver medal in the slopestyle competition.

After winning two medals at the Beijing Winter Olympics, freestyle skier Eileen Gu won her third medal, a gold, at Friday’s freeski halfpipe final, becoming the first freestyle skier to win three medals within the same Winter Olympics. 

The 18-year-old started off her first run with a score of 93.25 and finished the second run with a higher score of 95.25, leading her to win the gold medal, according to NBC News. During her second run, Gu was able to land almost every combination of tricks and nearly went 14 feet high above the superpipe.

For her third run, Gu did a victory lap in celebration of securing the gold during her second run.

After winning the competition, Gu told reporters, “I’ve never taken a victory lap before in my entire life, so I felt like, ‘You know what, last event at the Olympics it feels like I finally deserve it.’ I’m really happy,” reported CNN.

Gu had won two other medals while competing at the Olympics: a silver medal in the slopestyle event and a gold medal in the big air freestyle skiing event. With her second gold medal win, the teen amassed three medals, marking her as the first freestyle skier to win three medals in a single Winter Olympics.

Since her debut at the Beijing Winter Olympics, Gu has become an internet sensation among Chinese fans who have donned her with the nickname “Snow Princess.” According to CNN, the teen has accrued over 5 million fans on Weibo and has been referred to as the “pride of China.” She has also been affectionately dubbed “Frog Princess.”

The San Francisco-born Gu, who is competing for China, has also been recently swept in political controversy over questions regarding her nationality and whether she had given up her U.S. citizenship. The young athlete, however, has reportedly focused on the “spirit of support” in sports during her winning performances.

“It’s not about nationality, it’s about bringing people together. It’s about sharing culture. It’s about learning from each other and forging friendships,” Gu told CNN.

Featured Image via NBC Sports

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