China’s Gu Ailing wins women’s freeski big air gold at Beijing 2022



On February 8, 2022, China’s Gu Ailing kicked off her Olympic debut campaign with a gold medal in the freestyle skiing women’s freeski big air event at the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. The teen skiing sensation topped the scoreboard with 94.50 points in her last attempt, in which she landed a first-ever leftside double cork 1620.

Speaking fluent Mandarin and English, the California-born girl switched nationality from the US to China, her mother’s home country, in 2019, which allowed her to represent China in international competitions since then.

“When I was a child, many people called me a Beijing girl because they said I speak Mandarin with a strong Beijing accent,” Gu said in an interview with Xinhua recently. “Every time I went to China, no matter to Beijing or Shanghai, I got a feeling like back home.”But she has one greater ambition as a Chinese skier: to encourage more people in China to get to know and participate in the sport that may not be so popular in the country before.

“China has set a goal to get 300 million people on snow through hosting the Winter Olympic Games, so the Olympic Games mean a lot to the Chinese people and there is burgeoning and explosive opportunity to introduce the sport in the country,” said Gu, who, unlike a 18-year-old, often mentioned that one of her motivations is to inspire young girls in China and other parts of the world to try some things they may not imagine before.

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