Winter Olympics: 'It has changed my life forever' – Gu wins historic third medal

By Sports Desk February 18, 2022 1303

China's "snow princess" Eileen Gu says her life has changed forever after her historic success at the Winter Olympics.

Gu made history on Friday in Beijing, becoming the youngest athlete to win three individual medals at the Winter Games.

The 18-year-old from California, who elected to represent China rather than the United States at the Games, won gold in the halfpipe final, building on her triumph in the big air and her second-place finish in the slopestyle event.

She is also the youngest medallist in women's freeski halfpipe, and the first freestyle skier to win three medals at a single Winter Games.

Indeed, Gu is the first reigning world champion to win the event, and along with American David Wise, she is the only other freestyle skier to win the crystal globe, X Games, world championships and an Olympic gold medal in a single event.

"It has been two straight weeks of the most intense highs and lows I've ever experienced in my life," said Gu, who is also a model.

"It has changed my life forever. The second I landed the last 16 in big air I knew my life was never going to be the same again.

"Even then I would have never imagined that I'd walk away with another silver and another gold.

"I'm so honoured to be here and I'm even more honoured by this platform that I've been given to be able to spread this message and inspire young girls through my own passion for the sport and to hopefully spread the sport to people that might not have heard of it before."

Having already sealed her success heading into her third and final lap, Gu was able to entertain the crowd on her last run.

"I've never taken a victory lap before. I'm always saying, 'I want to push harder, I want to show that I can do more'," she added.

"And today, it kind of just felt like this coming-together moment because it's my last event at the Olympics.

"I put so much work into this, and to just feel like it was all worth it – all those little moments, the time I put in, in the gym after shooting a fashion editorial for eight to 10 hours, when I ran a half marathon every week over the summer, when I pushed myself to be the first person in practice and the last person to leave.

"Just all those little moments I feel like added up and it was just this great realisation that it was all worth it and that it was all real.

"I was very emotional at the top and I chose to do a victory lap because I felt like for the first time I really deserved it, and I really earned it."

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Last modified on Friday, 18 February 2022 07:07
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