Feb 7, 2022; Beijing, China; Ailing Eileen Gu (CHN) in the Women s Freestyle skiing Big Air Qualifying during the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games at Big Air Shougang. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Eileen Gu will be leaving the 2022 Winter Olympics with a nice souvenir — a gold medal. Gu won the women’s freeski big air event in Beijing in her final run of the event.

Any gold medal win is bound to spark some reactions on Twitter. To put it mildly, Gu was no exception.

Plenty of people simply praised Gu for her achievement.



And that’s an element that can’t be ignored. While the Olympics tries to minimize the impact of politics, it’s not possible. It’s especially not possible in the case of Gu, an American-born athlete competing for China.

That drew a strong reaction from former United States senator, Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

To be fair to McCaskill, she was hardly alone. Plenty of people had a lot to say about Gu’s gold medal win and the country she represents. And the responses to the political element of this gold medal were diverse.


“Just be quiet” is often good advice, though it’s also usually easier said than done.

For her part, Gu is aware of the criticism doesn’t seem all that broken up about it.

Gu was not the first gold medal winner of the Beijing Olympics and she will not be the last. It’s unlikely, though, that any other gold medal winner will bring such a strong reaction.

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