SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Eileen Gu grew was born in the Bay Area and graduated from San Francisco University High School.
Her alma mater congratulated her on the historic gold medal performance in women’s big air this week in her first Olympic games, where she became the first woman to pull off four complete 360-rotations.
KRON4 caught up with the Olympian well before this moment – a few years ago at a local sports shop as she was picking up skis, fresh off a second-place win for the World Cup Freeski in France.
Fast forward, she’s positioned as a favorite in two remaining events.
Although American, the18-year-old competed for China.
So Gu shared a message to her social media page explaining it was a tough decision to make saying in part: “I am proud of my heritage and equally proud of my American upbringing. The opportunity to help inspire millions of young people where my mom was born, during the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help to promote the sport I love. Through skiing, I hope to unite people, promote common understanding, create communication, and forge friendships between nations. If I can help to inspire one young girl to break a boundary, my wishes will have come true.”
Gu says her goal is to be a role model for young girls specifically in China who have not had many female athletes to admire.