Ethnicity over citizenship

Issues arise when American citizen Eileen Gu competes for the Chinese Olympic team


Kurt Disarapong, Staff Writer

Olympic Athletes take great pride in representing their country, so when Eileen Gu, an American citizen chose to represent China in favor of her ethnicity over her citizenship to America many were taken aback.

Most Athletes in the Olympics games represent the countries that they live in and are citizens of, however, Eileen Gu instead of representing the U.S., decided to represent China because of her Chinese blood and ethnicity.

According to AP news, the 18-year-old freestyle skier during her time in China was asked about the hate she’s received on social media.

 “If people don’t like me, then that’s their loss. They’re never going to win the Olympics,” Gu said.

She celebrated with joy after she did a double 1620 trick in skiing and won a gold medal for China.

Gu went on to win another gold medal soon after.

 Her great skills in skiing hadn’t gone unnoticed, however.

The Chinese loved her, were moved by her and considered her a superstar. Gu’s win for China flooded a popular Chinese social media site called Weibo, and Chinese people also gathered in multiple cultural hubs and sports centers to celebrate her victory.

However, lots of Americans were taking her wins for China differently. According to the New York Times,   Americans called Gu ungrateful and said that she was a traitor since she chose to compete for China instead of America.

 “For us everyday Chinese Americans, we’re going to have to deal with the same issues of, you know, claiming versus disassociating and parsing through what to identify with and what not to. I think it’s inevitable,” Easten Law of Princeton, NJ stated. 

Another group of people that support the Chinese is the Chinese Americans that live in the U.S.

The Chinese Americans fully understand and support Gu’s choice of competing for China instead of America.

 “I think people should respect her choice of representing China, just as many Chinese immigrants come to America to become American Citizens,” said Lia Sheng, a Chinese-American citizen.

Despite all the controversy and problems that Gu caused between China and America, she still earned two gold medals and she is proud and happy about it. 

Her victories in the Olympics have inspired thousands of people in China to try to get out of their comfort zones and try something new.

“I think she has a bright future and she is a really smart girl. People should respect other people’s choices and not criticize them,” Sheng said.