Age: 18 Years
Profession: Athlete, Model
|Other name||Gu Ailing (In China)|
|Real name/Full name||Eileen Feng Gu|
|Nickname(s)||• Snow Princess
• Frog Princess
• Genius Girl
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters– 168 cm
in meters– 1.68 m
in feet & inches– 5’ 6”
|Weight (approx.)||in kilograms– 50 kg
in pounds– lbs
|Figure Measurements (approx.)||30-26-32|
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||• gold medals in the big air and halfpipe at 2020 winter Olympics
• two gold medals at the International Ski Federation’s Freeski and Snowboard World Championships in the halfpipe and slopestyle events (2021)
• three medals on debut – golds in the superpipe and slopestyle and bronze in the big air at the Winter X Games (2021)
• gold medal in freeski big air at 2022 Winter Olympics
• silver in the women’s freeski slopestyle at 2022 Winter Olympics
• regarded as the poster girl of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics
|Date of Birth||3 September 2003 (Wednesday)|
|Age (as of 2021)||18 Years|
|Birthplace||San Francisco, California|
|Nationality||American and Chinese- Born and braught up in San Francisco, California, initially she held American nationality but in 2019 she changed her nationality to Chinese (her mother’s home country) in order to represent China in the international games. Although China does not allow dual citizenship, she has not yet given up her American nationality as of yet.|
|Hometown||San Francisco, California, USA|
|School||San Francisco University High School|
|College/University||Stanford University (deffered untill 2022)|
|Controversies||• She attracted controversy amid all the questions about her nationality. She was born and braught up in San Francisco, California, USA but in 2019 she represented her mother’s home country China at the international games. Whereas China does not allow dual citizenship, she has not officially given up her US citizenship and has a deferred entry in the Stanford University till summer of 2022 in order to join after the commencement of Winter Olympics. She has skirted around the numerous questions regarding her nationality and has given diplomatic statements such as she is Chinese in China and American in America. This has earned her a loyal fanbase in China who is proud of her for reconnecting with her Chinese ethnicity but on the other hand, citizens of US seem upset over the fact and have called her thankless on Instagram. Also, Fox News has labeled her the “ungrateful child of America.”
• The 18 year old once again got caught in the middle of a controversy when one her her follower on Instagram asked her that why she was getting a preferential treatment in China where the Chinese citizens are not allowed to use Instagram and the app is banned in the country. She replied to the comment that everyone can download VPN (a way to skirt the firewall boundaries set by the government by hiding the location of the user and is illegal) and use Instagram in China. The screenshot of this conversation somehow reached Weibo (China’s version of Instagram) and got viral. The Chinese government took immediate action on this and the posts having the comment started showing a blank screen.
|Relationships & More|
|Parents||Father– Not much information is available about her father other than the fact that he is an American and a Harvard graduate.
Mother– Gu Yan (Chinese immigrant in US, former Peking University speed skater and ski instructor)
|Grandparents||Maternal Grandmother– Feng Guozhen
|Salary (approx.)||Her endorsement fee before 2021 was about US$1 million which increased to US$2.5 million after tax by the end of November 2021. Estimating the 20 signed endorsements with a fee of 2 million US dollars per endorsement, her income for 2021 turns out to be around 40 million US dollars.|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Eileen Gu
- Eileen Gu is an 18-year-old American-Chinese athlete and model, who is known for being a gold medalist in freestyle skiing at the 2022 winter Olympics representing China.
- Eileen was born in San Francisco, California to an American father and Chinese mother. Her mother Yan Gu, is a Chinese immigrant, who is the daughter of a former Chinese government official. She is a former Peking University speed skater and ski instructor and has worked for investment banks in the United States and as a venture capitalist between California and China.
- Gu graduated from San Francisco University High School with a high SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test for American High School Graduates) score of 1580 and has a deferred entry at Stanford University in the light of Winter Olympics 2022.
- Skiing was her mother’s dream which is why she put then-9-year-old Eileen in ski school in Lake Taho.
- She tasted her first world cup win in Italy in 2019. After this, she posted on her Instagram handle that she has become a naturalized Chinese citizen and would participate in the Winter Olympics 2022 representing China.
- She won two gold medals in the big air and halfpipe events and a silver medal in slopestyle at the Lausanne 2020 Winter Olympics.
- Her debut in Winter X Games in 2021 earned her 2 gold medals in the superpipe and slopestyle and 1 bronze in the big air category making her the first woman to win three medals on debut and China’s maiden Winter X Games champion.
- She was featured in a Red Bull TV documentary series titled Everyday Eileen which showcased her journey through the 2020-2021 season. It documented her glorious victory at the World Championships, where she competed with a fractured finger and torn ulnar collateral ligament.
- She became the only athlete to win two gold medals at the International Ski Federation’s Freeski and Snowboard World Championships in Aspen by acing the halfpipe and slopestyle events in 2021.
- In January 2022, she took part in the International Ski Federation Freestyle Ski World Cup at Mammoth Mountain in the United States and procured victory in 2 events.
- She stood first in the women’s halfpipe and remained undefeated throughout the season with four wins from four in the event.
- She finished second at the women’s Freeski slopestyle in the season.
- Eileen was honoured as the poster girl for the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 in which she claimed her first gold medal in the women’s Freeski big air event. She performed a right double 1440, which has four rotations in her first run and for her final show, she performed a stunning left double 1620, the biggest and highest-scoring trick, which involves four and a half revolutions in the air and shifting twice from the axis. She performed this trick for the first time and has never performed it even during practice.
- She won a silver medal at the women’s Freeski slopestyle on 15 February 2022, which became her second victory at the Winter Olympics.
- Apart from brilliant athletic skills, Eileen has luxury fashion model looks. She is a professional model with IMG Models, the agency that represents popular international models, such as Bella Hadid, Kate Moss and Hailey Bieber.
- She has established herself as a hugely bankable model who appeals to brands in both Asia and the West due to her ability to gracefully handle the topic of her nationality and ethnicity and being able to maintain a handsome fan-following in both the nations that she represents.
- She has signed contracts with major western brands, such as Louis Vuitton, Victoria’s Secret and Tiffany & Co., luxury Swiss watchmaker IWC, and cosmetics brand Estée Lauder.
- With her massive popularity, she has become one of the most heavily sponsored athletes with over 20 commercial partnerships in the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022.
- Since 2019, she has been invited to various A-list fashion shows, including Paris Fashion Week, Louis Vuitton’s front row and Met Gala.
- Similarly, she has a mass appeal in China owing to her fluency in Mandarin and her knowledge of Chinese culture and customs, which she imbibed during her visits to the country in Beijing most summers of her life with her mother and grandmother.
- She is popularly known as Gu Ailing in China and has been nicknamed the “Snow Princess,” which further increases her brand value in the country. While talking about her performance in the qualifier round of the big air event with the reporters, she pulled up her race bib to show the cameras a black jacket embroidered with a golden dragon and said that she designed it with Chinese elements. She has done various endorsements ranging from Chinese TV ads to billboards and even milk cartons as the face of Inner Mongolia-based Mengniu Dairy. She has also modelled for brands like China Mobile, E-commerce giant JD.com, Bank of China etc.
- She has also featured in various top magazines of China including GQ and Elle. While featuring on the cover of Vogue Hong Kong, she said,
The fashion world has helped balance my training.”
She further added,
Just like skiing, modeling requires incredible expression and personality. It requires creativity, confidence, and the ability to learn and adapt… The transition between modeling and skiing became a break and a practice for each other that helped me eventually feel more motivated in each area.”
- Addressing the duality of her nationality and career, she wrote on her Instagram,
A quality I’ve found myself tapping into time and time again as I display different facets of myself (athlete, model, student, Chinese, American, teenager, writer, public persona, etc) in different environments. Everyone code switches, and I think it’s time we start celebrating that multifaceted nature.”