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Eileen Gu

Having watched the Winter Olympics for the last 2 weeks, one can’t help but be aware of the controversy Eileen Gu inspired in the Chinese American community. From the comment section of NYT most comments were negative about her, not only from Americans in general, but also Chinese Americans. I assume any positive comments like mine were censored or delayed until near the end. As a Chinese American myself I imagine most in Chinatown are positive toward her yet keep their opinions within our own community to avoid more racial backlash as covid already inspired enough backlash. Here I would like to share my feeling and analysis.
I became aware of Eileen when I first read about her in NYT about fear and adrenaline in extreme sport; her decision to represent China when she was 15, and she was favored to win some medal. I started to do research on her from YouTube videos, some documentary about her life, and some speeches she made representing luxury brands. She’s beautiful, smart with SAT of 1580, finish high school in 3 years and deferred going to Stanford until after Olympics, and now with 2 gold and 1 silver. A perfect girl any Chinese parent would be proud to have. She even made a speech about Title 9 and inequality of pays for female athletes when she’s about 11.
Ordinarily she would be acclaimed by both right and left if she represents United States. She’s a perfect model minority as right usually call Chinese Americans to pit against African Americans. The fact she’s somewhat an activist on feminist would be acclaimed by the left. Now that she’s representing China, she’s a target for both sides, being called a traitor, ungrateful, hungry for money, and of course working for authoritarian China against human rights
For an 18 years old girl she manages to avoid all the traps lay by the press adroitly; unflustered by questions of dual citizenships which nobody asked to the players on the hockey teams. I suspect she probably managed press better than seasoned politicians in Washington DC would.
For NBC it’s a dilemma the attention laved on Eileen which they obviously were reserving for Mikaela Shiffrin. A blonde goddess beauty that faltered. No help come from Russian skater with the drug controversy. Such is the life of sour grapes in U.S.A., I just hope the backlash doesn’t go beyond Eileen as half the figure skating team is Asian, and an African American won the only skating gold, not to mention China got 9 gold with U.S. only 8.

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  1. Rhan
    March 6th, 2022 at 00:07 | #1

    i dont quite understand how dual citizenship work, after listening to gu ailing response wrt nationality, i suspect china law could be functioned in “dual” standard as well.

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