Freestyle skier Eileen Gu has won her second medal at the Beijing Winter Games, finishing second in the slopestyle course on Tuesday and falling just short of the gold by only 0.33 points behind Mathilde Gremaud.
Competing in subzero temperatures, Gu was sitting in eighth place after the first two runs but managed to land a big score on her third run, placing second with a final score of 86.23, reported the New York Times. The first-place winner of the slopestyle course, Mathilde Gremaud, finished with a final score of 86.56. Despite having been only a few tenths of a point short of winning a second gold medal, Gu remained enthusiastic about her silver medal win and rushed to get back to practice for her upcoming halfpipe competition on Thursday, according to Fox News.
“Of course I’m competitive, so the zero-point-three points – I’m going to think about that,” Gu told Fox. “But it’s OK, I’m happy.”
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Fox News reported that Gu wobbled her way through the six tricks during her first run of the event before falling off the third rail during her second run. On her final run, however, she successfully hit every trick, including a double cork, and finished with a high score.
One of Gu’s fellow competitors, Team USA’s Maggie Voisin, praised the 18-year-old for her performance, saying, “That girl deserves it all,” the Times reported. “I’ve never met anyone that works as hard as she does. She’s so dedicated, so determined. I’m really, really happy for her.”
The 18-year-old previously won a gold medal in last Tuesday’s freestyle skiing competition with a total score of 188.25. Gu, who is competing on behalf of China, has recently faced public scrutiny over her citizenship status in the U.S. and China, which does not recognize dual citizenship, leading to claims the athlete has been receiving special privileges. Gu and her representatives have been careful to avoid questions about her nationality.
“I feel as though I use my voice as much as I can in topics that are relevant and personal to myself and targeted toward people who are willing to listen to me,” Gu told The New York Times. “I’m also a teenage girl, so I do my best to make the world a better place. And yeah, I’m having fun while doing it.”
With her second medal win at the Beijing Winter Games, Gu is now on path to potentially becoming the first action-sports athlete to land three medals at the same Winter Olympic, according to Business Insider.