An American-born skier competing for China in the 2022 Winter Olympics won a gold medal on behalf of the Communist nation playing host to this year’s competition. Critics have dubbed the event the “genocide games,” taking aim at the authoritarian Chinese regime’s use of concentration camps, where recent estimates say at least 1 million ethnic and religious minorities are being held against their will and forced into slave labor, alongside political prisoners.
18-year-old Eileen Gu, who was born in San Francisco and is slated to attend Stanford University, won a gold medal in the freestyle skiing “Big Air” event on behalf of Communist China this week, pushing the Olympics’ host nation into first place in the overall medal count. Gu, who claims to have renounced her American citizenship at the age of 15 in favor of becoming a Communist Chinese national, where dual citizenship is banned, is reportedly the child of a Chinese mother and an American father.
Because of Communist China’s ban on dual citizenship and Gu’s young age when she claims to have renounced her American citizenship at 15, questions have been raised as to whether Gu is actually permitted to compete in the Olympic games and whether she is holding passports from both the United States and Communist China. Under U.S. law, Americans cannot renounce their citizenship until age 16, and it has been reported that Gu does, in fact, still hold an American passport.
Aided by a Communist Chinese enforcer, Gu didn’t clear up any confusion surrounding her citizenship when speaking to reporters after her Big Air event win, dodging questions on the matter and saying instead that she is “fluent culturally in both” Chinese and American life.
“So I grew up spending 25-30% [of my time] in China,” Gu told reporters. “I’m fluent in Mandarin and English and fluent culturally in both,” she said, refusing to actually address the issue of her citizenship and saying at another point that those without a “good heart” will continue to question her national allegiances and won’t understand her desire to compete for China’s Communist regime.
“If people don’t have a good heart, they won’t believe me, because they can’t empathize with people who do have a good heart. And so in that sense, I feel as though it’s a lot easier to block out the hate now. And also, they’re never going to know what it feels like to win an Olympic gold medal,” Gu said.
Chinese state-run media has hailed Gu as a national hero since her defection from American athletics, and she boasts millions of social media followers on state-affiliated platforms. Gu is also a model who appears on billboards and other commercials in China’s cities and is increasingly seen as a key propaganda piece of the oppressive regime due to her American ties.
Alongside Communist China’s state-run media, American media have praised Eileen Gu and the Winter Olympics’ dystopic Chinese setting as a whole, where recent estimates claim that over a million ethnic and religious minorities, as well as political prisoners of the Communist regime, are being held in concentration camps. Prisoners in the camps are regularly forced into industrial-level slavery and other forms of torture.
Despite this, American professional sports leagues and corporations have doubled and tripled down on their close relationships with Communist China, even punishing naysayers.