Eileen Gu: Answers to the most asked questions

Find out the answers to the big questions: Where was Eileen Gu born? Why does Eileen Gu compete for China? What has Eileen Gu won so far?

By Ed Knowles
Picture by 2020 Getty Images

Eileen Gu is one of the rising stars of freestyle skiing.

Ahead of Beijing 2022, the 18-year-old is one of the highest profile athletes that the home team of China are hoping will secure qualification for the Olympics.

She is a rare athlete who competes in all three freeski Olympic disciplines: Slopestyle, Half Pipe, and Big Air.

Here we answer some of the most asked questions about Eileen Gu, who also joined the Olympic Channel podcast to share her thoughts on a momentous year in 2021.

What is Eileen Gu’s official name?

Eileen Gu’s official competition name is GU Ailing Eileen.

If you want to keep up with the latest news about her, then her Olympics.com page is a good place to start. With the events ahead of the Olympics happening with great regularity, the FIS website is one of the best sources for results and rankings.

Both pages refer to the Chinese star as GU Ailing Eileen.

Where was Eileen Gu born?

Eileen Gu was born in San Francisco, USA. Her date of birth is 3 September 2003, which means that the China hope heads into the Olympic season aged 18. She was born in the Chinese year of the goat. Her astrology zodiac sign is Virgo.

Who are Eileen Gu's parents?

Eileen’s mother is called Yan. She emigrated from China when she was in her 20s to further her education. When Yan was studying for her MBA in Stanford, she put a young Eileen in ski school so they could do some family trips. She, “accidentally created a pro skier,” according to Forbes.

Eileen also talks regularly to her grandmother (who speaks little English). They are “by far the two biggest influences in my life – both of them are the definition of empowered women, to the max”, Gu previously told the South China Morning Post.

Why does Eileen Gu compete for China?

Eileen speaks English beautifully (with a Bay Area accent) and also can communicate fluently in Mandarin.

"Since I was little, I've always said when I'm in the U.S., I'm American, but when I'm in China, I'm Chinese," Gu told ESPN.com. She announced in 2019 that she would compete for China.

"I think because the sport is international, my whole message is that I want to make sports international," she said to ESPN.

What has Eileen Gu won so far?

Since announcing that she would compete for China, Eileen Gu has been on the podium on a number of occasions. Her first was at the Winter Games in New Zealand.

She took gold medals at the 2020 Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne in Big Air and Half Pipe. She also picked up a bronze medal in slopestyle.

Eileen became the first rookie to win three medals at the X Games in 2021. This time her victories were in Half Pipe and Slopestyle with another bronze coming in Big Air. The World Championships followed soon after, where she won the Super Pipe and Slopestyle events with another third placed finish in Big Air.

Gu also posted an incredible video to social media of her landing a forward double cork 1440 in November 2021. She was the world’s first woman to land this trick.

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