Eileen Gu's father was the topic of discussion for fans and media alike as parentage and citizenship questions took centerstage for the talented athlete. Get to know all the familial details of the Olympics Gold Medal winner.
Eileen Gu, a Chinese-American freestyle skier and model, is a rising star in the sports realm. Captivating many with her spectacular sportmanship and beauty, Gu is the first freeskier to win two gold medals at the FIS Freeski World Championships. Beyond her achievements, the pro skier is currently making headlines due to some controversies revolving around her father and her sports as well
Eileen was born on September 3, 2003, in San Francisco, California, to a Chinese mother and an American father. Eversince a little girl, the star skier was always a brilliant youngster. Her mother got her into the sports as a way to bond, without the knowledge that she is creating a star. Making her debut at the age of 17, Eileen has ever since remained on top of her game and recently just won gold medal for China in freestyle skiing big air. As good as she might be in her game, controversy is now surrounding the star. Also in addition, many are curious as to who her father is and here is what you need to know.
Eileen Gu Father: Harvard Educated American Father of the Olympic Gold Medalist
Eileen Gu's father and mother generated interest during the Olympics due to the American born athlete's decision to represent China.
Image Source: Eileen Gu Instagram
Even before the Winter Olympics in Beijing began, there was drama aplenty. The US was doing a diplomatic boycott, barring any top governmental officials from attending the event. Few of the other usual suspect countries followed suit but the moment Eileen Gu started making waves in China as he "Snow Princess" no one cared for the diplomatic boycott.
All eyes were on an 18-year-old first time Olympian who was born in the US to an American father and a Chinese mother. The reason she was the focus of all the attention was because the US born athlete had decided to wear the Chinese flag on her chest instead the red white and blue. This was not a new decision for Eileen, she chose to represent her mother's birth place in 2019, but the fact that she might win a gold brought peak attention to the matter.
Eileen Gu's father is American, he graduated from Harvard, but that is the extent of the facts made public. South China Morning Post claimed Eileen's mother Yan Gu was a single mother. Even with this much attention, Eileen has not mentioned her father, so there does not appear to be particularly deep relationship on that side.
Not even a mention hints at a frosty relationship with her father, so it is no surprise that Eileen decided to represent the birthplace of her mother. No matter the case, if Eileen just needs her mother for support, then her father should not even matter to any of us.
Eileen Gu Controversy: An 18-Year-Old in the Middle of a Tussle of Giants
The controversial topic of Eileen Gu being born to an American man, born and raised in America itself yet playing her games for China has always been there since her massive success. This has even more flamed up with her recent win for China in freestyle skiing in Winter Olympics 2022 being held in Beijing.
Many have raised the question on why is Eileen competing for an oppressive country like China where their is no freedom of speech and human rights violations. Also, the country doesn't allow their athletes to hold dual citizenship. So, is Eileen an exception or has she formally renounced her U.S. citizenship?
As per NBC news, in a press conference, Eileen stood up to her choice of playing for China with the statement that she's trying to be an example for young women and has no interest in the politics or social media debates.
While many believe that she should be held accountable for her choices, rest of her fans support her saying it's not fair to hold an 18-year-old responsible for the conduct of the Chinese government. The internet is currently filled with biased opinions on the athlete's choice of participation.
Eileen on the other hand remains unfazed for her choice to play for her mother's birthland. She believes that she possesses what it takes to be an inspiration figure of success. "If people don't believe me and if people don't like me, then that's their loss," she said in the press conference. "They're never going to win the olympics." In regards to her relationship with American team she shared how she has always been filled with gratitude for their support. "I've always been super outspoken in my gratitude to the U.S., to the U.S. team as well," she said. "They have been nothing but supportive to me, and so for that, I'm forever grateful."
It's quite understandable for Eileen to choose playing for her mother's country since she has a stronger connection with her mother. Eileen's mother Yan Gu was also a skier in her days. Moving to the U.S. from China as a student in her twenties, enrolling at Auburn University and Rockefeller University, Eileen's mother Gu developed a keen interest in skiing.
Her mother skied for the first time at Hunter Mountain in New York state while attending the latter; her passion for the sport grew after transferring to the San Francisco Bay Area to pursue an MBA at Stanford University. Later when Eileen was born, Gu put her young daughter Eileen to ski lessons in Lake Tahoe. The mother-daughter duo were thus deeply connected by and with the sport.
Since it was her mother who opened the door for her future, it's understandable that she would want to play for her mother's homeland as a sign of gratitude. However, her diverse roots with her father being an American and herself growing their changes the narrative for many thus flaming up the controversies.