American-Born Olympian Who Competed For, Has Ties With China Awarded ‘Breakthrough Athlete of the Year’
On Wednesday, ESPN gave US-born athlete, Eileen Gu, the “Best Breakthrough Athlete” ESPY award even though she competed for China during the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Gu did not compete for the United States and renounced her American citizenship earlier this year. She notably grew up in San Francisco.
ESPN gave the ESPY for "Breakthrough Athlete of the Year" to Eileen Gu, the skier who grew up in San Francisco, is a current student at Stanford, but renounced her U.S. citizenship to complete for China at the Olympics last year. pic.twitter.com/3EwdtI1o9D
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) July 21, 2022
ESPN is owned by disney. disney is owned by china. china’s favored method of warfare is psychological. this is an op. right in front of us. no one in government cares. https://t.co/dosKzTt1W4
— Mike Solana (@micsolana) July 21, 2022
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) July 21, 2022
In past years, the “Best Breakthrough Athlete” award has been reserved for mega all-stars like LeBron James, Chris Paul, and Tom Brady. Gu, while very talented, is hardly a recognizable household name, so many online are calling out this charade for what it is; CCP pandering.
“I also want to share this moment with all the incredible pioneering female athletes who’ve come before me, who paved the way for people like me,” Gu said during her acceptance speech.
“Also to the young girls who are going to come after me and who are going to be the change makers and who are going to push it one step further closer to equality,” she continued.
At the end of her speech, Gu thanked her mother and grandmother before delivering a brief message spoken in Mandarin.
The Olympian skier has claimed in the past that she is proud of her Chinese heritage, and “equally proud” of her American upbringing.
“The opportunity to help inspire millions of young people where my mom was born, during the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help to promote the sport I love. Through skiing, I hope to unite people, promote common understanding, create communication, and forge friendships between nations,” she wrote on Instagram in 2019.
But Gu and her ties with China may run deeper than what most have been led to believe.
According to The Economist: “In February 2019, [Gu] traveled to China to appear next to Chinese President Xi Jinping when he gave a speech urging Chinese athletes to win medals in order to contribute to ‘the nation’s great rejuvenation.’
The outlet continued by saying that “Gu and her sponsors have never acknowledged this encounter.”
“In October, Gu starred in a Chinese film that opened in Xinjiang province, near where the Chinese government is accused of detaining 1 million Uyghur Muslims in concentration camps,” it added.
【爱玲】As we count down the hours till Beijing’s Winter Olympics opening ceremony, a moment for our third VOGUE+ guest editor, 18-year-old freestyle skiier, model and dreamer, Eileen Gu. (ph: Davit Giorgadze) ⛷️❄️☃️🥇 pic.twitter.com/Zy8uFIB5Nl
— Margaret Zhang 章凝 (@MargaretZhang) February 4, 2022
As some users pointed out on Twitter: ESPN is owned by Disney, and Disney is essentially controlled by China. On top of that, the CCP’s favored method of warfare is psychological, so this whole charade was likely orchestrated as a means of asserting dominance.
Regardless, it’s insane to think no one in our current government cares.