The Gu Question

The Gu Question


Leonard Zwelling

It is now common knowledge that American-born freestyle skier Eileen Gu (aka Gu Ailing) won a gold medal in the big air event in the Beijing Winter Olympic Games. The problem is that they she won the medal competing for the host country because her mother is a native of China and she says:

“Because they (meaning China) understand my mission is to use sport as a force for unity, to use it as a form to foster interconnection between countries.”

Hmmm. I guess that is in the Olympic spirit, but scratch a little deeper and some troubling things emerge.

It is most unclear what nationality Ms. Gu is. Supposedly, the Chinese do not accept dual citizenship and only Chinese citizens can compete for China, yet whether or not Ms. Gu has relinquished her American passport is unknown.

This whole thing sounds to me like a publicity stunt to notch up her fees for appearances and modeling as well as making her a heroine to Chinese youth. (After all, 1.3 billion potential followers are more than 330 million.) Talk about propaganda! Here we have handed the Chinese an American champion and she seems to have managed this without paying any price for consorting with our rivals.

The United States, her country of birth, is in a struggle to the death with the Chinese Communist Party that runs that country. For an American citizen to compete for our enemy is nothing short of outrageous. I think that we are all being taken for an amazing PR ride at the hands of an eighteen-year-old.

So, what to do about it?

First, cancel her American passport.

Second, she does not get to go to the White House with our Olympians when the Games are over.

Her American sponsors, if she has any, ought to cancel any contracts they have with her. The article cites Red Bull (Austrian) and the Bank of China as among her sponsors.

I’m sorry. If we are electing not to send a diplomatic delegation to these Games in protest, it’s just wrong to have Americans competing for our enemies. Oh, I know a host of Jewish Americans have competed for Israel, but those athletes usually are not among the favorites and competing for Israel was a path to get them to the Olympics when they might not have made the American team. This is different. Israel is our ally and many people hold Israeli and American passports. Gu is clearly the best in the world. She should not be competing for our opponents and competitors in some sort of inspiration for the young of China. For goodness sakes, you’re an American. Act like it.

Ms. Gu is either hopelessly naïve or ruthlessly self-centered. Either way, she has declared herself a Chinese citizen. Perhaps she ought to stay there.

This is anything but business as usual and it is not all right on any level. Passports have meaning and an American passport is among the most desirable. Either China bent their rules for her or she has relinquished her American passport. Which is it, Ms. Gu?

2 thoughts on “The Gu Question”

  1. Your outrage is justified!
    She is most likely looking at the publicity angle more than anything. Increasing her visibility may increase her wealth. So, let her relinquish her American passport and get on with accumulating and spending her Chinese yen!

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