Eileen Gu Wins Gold in First-Ever Olympic Big Air Ski With Daring Final Trick

Eileen Gu Wins Gold in First-Ever Olympic Big Air Ski With Daring Final Trick

by Sue Jones
0 comment 25 views

A new event at the 2022 Olympic Games concluded in dramatic fashion: On February 8, 18-year-old Eileen Gu won gold for China in the women’s big air freeski event, marking the first time the event has ever been held at an Olympic Games.

She pulled off the feat with a daring trick on her third and final run. Gu performed—and landed perfectly—a double cork 1620 jump, a trick that includes spinning four and a half times in the air while rotating. She had never performed that trick in competition before, NPR reported, and hadn’t planned on doing so at the Olympics.

“I was guaranteed a podium spot when I dropped in [for my final jump],” she said, according to NPR. “I was thinking, Should I improve on my previous one and go for the silver or should I whip out this random trick I’d never done before and go for gold?”

Gu earned a score of 94.50 for her third run, making for a total of 188.25—enough to pass out France’s Tess Ledeux, who earned silver, and Switzerland’s Mathilde Gremaud, who came in third.

The 2022 Beijing Games are Gu’s Olympic debut, which has come with its own bout of controversy. Gu was born in San Francisco and skied for the United States until 2019—she even won a World Cup event in slopestyle for the country—before choosing to compete for China, her mother’s home country, as The New York Times reported.

“When I’m in the U.S., I’m American, but when I’m in China, I’m Chinese,” she said, according to The New York Times. She explained that she chose to compete for China to “enhance interaction, understanding, and friendship between the Chinese and American people.” The decision has stirred a lot of debate, further putting Gu in the Olympic spotlight.

According to the The New York Times, Gu got her start on the skis at the age of three, but was also interested in distance racing as a child. She chose skiing when a big ski meet and cross-country competition fell on the same day; she decided on the slopes. Soon, she became dominant in the sport. In 2020, she earned her first half-pipe World Cup win in Calgary. Then in 2021, she came in first in both the slopestyle and half-pipe events at the World Ski Championships in Aspen.

Along the way, she’s become famous for more than skiing, especially in China. According to The New York Times, she’s also an IMG model and has a whole slew of sponsors, including Redbull, Tiffany & Company, and Victoria’s Secret.

While the big air ski gold was Gu’s first Olympic medal, it may not be her last: She’s expected to be a top contender in the slopestyle and half-pipe competitions as well. The women’s slopestyle competition will be held on February 14, and half-pipe on February 17. Here’s how to watch those Olympic events!


  • A 15-Year-Old Just Became the First Woman to Land a Quadruple Jump at the Olympics
  • What to Know About the Dozens of Skiing and Snowboarding Events at the Olympics
  • My Bedtime Routine: Speed Skater Brittany Bowe on the High-Tech Sleep Solutions She Swears By

Read More

You may also like

Leave a Comment