With so few people following the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, you may not have heard of Eileen Gu. She is one of the most decorated freestyle skiing athletes in the world today, but she has not yet become well known.
Well, that is changing from the recent Winter Games.
The mainstream media has kept her under the radar, probably because they don’t know how to tell her story without infringing on their leftwing values.
Eileen Gu’s story is somewhat shocking, but, unfortunately, not so unique anymore. In 2019, the American-born ski phenom chose to leave the support of her home country and represent the nation of China in the 2022 Winter Olympics. Gu’s mother is from China.
Gu was born and raised in San Francisco. She trained in America and was given every opportunity that a citizen in the United States has from birth. The support of our athletes led her to be able to compete at the pinnacle of her sport. And then, instead of wearing red, white, and blue, she chose only red. China would now benefit from her expert training.
Unfortunately, Gu is not the only athlete who made this kind of decision to represent another country. Naomi Osaka is a product of American tennis, but she chose to represent her birth country of Japan in her Olympic and, then, professional career. But Osaka was born in Japan, even though she used the opportunity afforded to her in America to become one of the best female tennis players in the world.
Osaka isn’t taking some of the heart that Gu is taking because she was born in Japan, and Japan doesn’t hold values that are felt by many to be at best, un-American, and at worst, unjust. China’s government is a communist regime and holds an ideology that is contrary to our values. They are known for crimes against humanity and abusing whole people groups.
So, it is more than just losing a chance at another medal for the USA. She already has won two gold medals and a silver one, it is what this move by Gu means geopolitically in the world.
For some, what Gu has done represents where we are as a nation. We are divided, which means we are weak. If you look at how the media has represented Gu, you will typically find headlines like this: “Risk-taker Eileen Gu Makes China an Olympic Force on Snow,” or “Eileen Gu Is Trying to Soar Over the Geopolitical Divide” from the New York Times.
When the athlete posted about her decision to represent China, she said that she “hopes to unite people, promote common understanding, create communication, and forge friendships between nations.”
We would much rather focus on her national pride for her mother’s home country than on the violations of human rights that China has committed. We can wear our red-colored glasses and still feel good. But what does it mean when a young athlete abandons the country she was born and raised in?
The Olympic Games should be an event where athletes and their nations are proudly represented. It may have never been more clear than in 1980. At that time, the Cold War was at its pinnacle, but the most well-known battle of that time happened on the ice in Lake Placid, New York. Two superpowers met in the hockey arena as the underdog U.S. team faced the mighty USSR squad. Sports and patriotism were side by side as the world witnessed the “Miracle on Ice.” All of America celebrated and the athletes felt the honor of competing for their country and the values were represented.
Are the days of competing in a way that shows the world the power of democracy over? Do athletes still want to set an example for the rest of the world showing the benefits of freedom?
Is it ever OK to question a decision like Gu’s to spurn America and represent China?
Former United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has not been silent. She has accused Gu of standing for human rights abuses.
“In terms of the citizenship, look, China or the U.S.? You have got to pick a side. Period. You’ve got to pick a side, because you’re either American or you’re Chinese, and they are two very different countries,” Haley said.