Ski sensation Eileen Gu recently opened up about seamlessly juggling her roles as an athlete, Stanford student, influencer and a budding quantum physics enthusiast.
A new gold: The 20-year-old freeskier, also known by her Chinese name Gu Ailing, extended her historic win streak at the Winter X Games Aspen with a victory in the women’s halfpipe event on Jan. 27. Battling through intense hip pain from a recent training accident, Gu performed back-to-back 900s to earn a remarkable 95.66 points in her final run.
Athlete, model, movie buff: Gu, who currently balances a demanding schedule as an athlete, student, model and influencer, revealed her diverse interests in an interview with the Associated Press before the event.
She said she does not have a favorite film, but she found the message in “Barbie” of women’s empowerment “very compelling” and enjoyed watching “Oppenheimer” for its scientific depth.
The three-time 2022 Olympic medalist also revealed how she finds joy in exploring quantum physics at Stanford. “The theoretical part, the conceptual part, is very stimulating and interesting to me,” she shared.
Gu traces her scientific curiosity back to what she calls her “nerd heritage.” Her mother, Yan Gu, is a former student of chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology, who eventually became a venture capitalist and Gu’s most ardent supporter.
A normal student with grand goals: At Stanford, Gu is a straight-A student who strives to maintain a normal student life. However, in addition to having a course load surpassing requirements, she also has a penchant for starting a basketball club on campus.
Embracing a broader mission: Gu, who was born in the U.S. but represents China in the Olympics, said she aims to inspire millions of girls in China to envision possibilities on the snow.
“It was remarkable hearing from kids, who are 11, 12 years old, telling me I changed the course of their lives,” she told AP. “That’s a very profound thought for a tween to be having, and it’s something I don’t take lightly.”