The Chinese Communist Party has a brilliant new propagandist in Olympic gold medalist Eileen Gu, the American-born freestyler skier who is competing for China in this year's Winter Games.
Gu is a talented athlete, gifted academically, and, well, gorgeous — she has done modeling campaigns for Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Gucci and has appeared on the covers of Elle and Vogue China. She's also a traitor.
Gu, who is 18, was born and raised in San Francisco by her American father and Chinese mother. She plans to attend college at Stanford University. Yet she announced in 2019 that she would...
The Chinese Communist Party has a brilliant new propagandist in Olympic gold medalist Eileen Gu, the American-born freestyler skier who is competing for China in this year’s Winter Games.
Gu is a talented athlete, gifted academically, and, well, gorgeous — she has done modeling campaigns for Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Gucci and has appeared on the covers of Elle and Vogue China. She’s also a traitor.
Gu, who is 18, was born and raised in San Francisco by her American father and Chinese mother. She plans to attend college at Stanford University. Yet she announced in 2019 that she would represent China in the 2022 Beijing Olympics. At the time, China was executing a violent crackdown on pro-freedom protesters in Hong Kong, ramping up its theft of intellectual property from US companies, and putting Uighur Muslims in re-education camps. Gu has conveniently stayed mum on these issues. She chalks up her decision to compete for China to a desire to grow women’s sports worldwide.
As much as Gu would like to pretend her defection is not political, abandoning her home country in favor of its biggest geopolitical rival — which is also accused of horrific human rights abuses — is a statement in and of itself. It’s also hard to believe she doesn’t know what she’s doing when she’s expressed her “outspoken” support for the Black Lives Matter movement, citing concerns about “inequality” and “oppression.”
The CCP certainly isn’t holding back on using Gu for political ends. Tennis star Peng Shuai gave a tightly controlled press conference on Monday in which she walked back her sexual assault accusations against Chinese party officials, raising questions about her safety and ability to speak freely. The next day, Shuai was photographed with the president of the IOC watching Gu compete in the Big Air event.
Annnd NBC just showed IOC President Thomas Bach with Peng Shuai right behind Eileen Gu when celebrating her gold medal run in the freestyle skiing final.
China did this on purpose, just like with the Uyghur in the Opening Ceremony.
China is evil.
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) February 8, 2022
NBC fell right into China’s trap, gushing about Gu’s many talents on-air while declining to discuss the controversy surrounding her citizenship status and her decision to compete for China. Statements from on-air commentators during Tuesday’s primetime coverage of the Big Air contest sounded like they were ripped straight from CCP propaganda leaflets.
“Eileen [is] just eighteen years old. 1580 on the SATs, composes her own music on the piano, models: Louis Vuittion, Tiffany & Co. just to name a few,” one announcer said.
Gu is undeniably talented, but spending too much time on her accolades serves the CCP’s efforts to glamorize the regime and paper over its abuses. Some media figures have even suggested that criticism of Gu is driven by racism; China notably used similar rhetoric in response to its cover-up of the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. It all sounds like the last gasp of an American media grappling with the fact that it’s no longer acceptable to be a friend to China.
Eileen Gu could take gold and racists are about to get so mad lol
— Kiki Intarasuwan (@kintarasu) February 8, 2022
Gu serving as the CCP’s pretty face lines up with the country’s use of a Uighur Muslim as a torch bearer and highlighting of their alleged “ethnic diversity” during the opening ceremony. They are not just mounting an aggressive PR campaign; they are trolling us.
Gu is eighteen, but she is presumably smart enough to know that she is aiding in this effort. Her canned PR responses to questions about whether she’s renounced her US citizenship are awfully revealing. She attributes speculation about her citizenship status to “hate” and dodges when asked about pretty much anything other than skiing.
Gu may be basking in the money and fame right now, but she should be wary of what happens when you disappoint the Chinese. Zhu Yi, another American native who defected to China for the Winter Games, became public enemy number one on Chinese social media and was left crying on the ice after she botched her performance in the team figure skating events. Then there’s the even more disturbing story of the aforementioned Peng Shuai. As soon as Gu is no longer useful to the regime’s rehabilitation efforts, she will be discarded just the same.