'Sour grapes': China's fury over 'shameful' Eileen Gu Olympics drama

Seen here, Eileen Gu posing with her gold medal from the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Eileen Gu poses with her gold medal from the Beijing Winter Olympics. Pic: Getty

An American TV host's damning assessment of Winter Olympics golden girl Eileen Wu has sparked an angry backlash in China.

The 18-year-old skiing sensation was one of the most talked about athletes heading into the Olympic Games after opting to represent China instead of the United States.

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Gu, who is also a model, was born in California to an American father and Chinese mother, but represents China after switching allegiances in 2019.

And the teen made history at the big air after securing a score of 94.50 in her final run after landing the first 1620 of her career to win gold at the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Gu says she chose to represent the country of her mother's birth to help promote and grow the sport that she loves, off the back of an enormous Chinese fanbase.

In a scathing segment on Fox News, however, TV host Will Cain labelled Wu "ungrateful" for turning her back on the country she was raised in and which turned her into a gold medal-winning skier.

The Fox News segment described Wu's defection as "shameful" and suggested it was motivated more by money and the potential of her earning power in China, than other factors.

Responding to the segment, Global Times journalist Xia Wenxin accused the USA of "sour grapes" and said it was using her in a greater political fight with China.

“The West don’t really care about the athletes themselves as much as they try to sound. They probably just use them as an excuse to criticise China,” Wenxin wrote for China's political mouthpiece.

Wenxin also tool exception to Cain's view that China's Winter Games golden girl had “betrayed the country that not just raised her, but turned her into a world-class skier”.

“It’s ungrateful like a child that says, ‘I’m out of here, I’m moving somewhere else’ after being raised in a warm home,” Cain said.

“She will soon, I suspect, come to regret it.

“Eileen Gu, I think, has had to sacrifice her American passport.

“So welcome to China. I hope stardom and the riches that you have earned through betraying America are all worth it, because you have definitely sold out.”

Eileen Gu's decision to represent China over the USA was slammed by Fox News presenter, Will Cain (R). Pic: Getty/Fox News
Eileen Gu's decision to represent China over the USA was slammed by Fox News presenter, Will Cain (R). Pic: Getty/Fox News

Wenxin said the explosive position amounted to nothing more than "calculated snobbery" from America and questioned why the USA could not accept that she wanted to promote the sport in China.

“This ‘reverse migration’ in the field of sports marks a new era and perhaps, a sign of something new,” he wrote.

Eileen Gu's message for the haters

Gu's gold made her the youngest freestyle skiing medallist at the Winter Olympic Games.

The 18-year-old is now the talk of the Olympics and was swarmed by the world's media after her historic feat.

In her press conference, Gu was asked what she thought about all the hate and criticism she had received since announcing she would represent China at the Beijing Winter Games.

"Here is the thing, I am not trying to keep everyone happy. I am an 18-year-old old girl out here trying to live my best life," she said when asked about the criticism she has received.

"I feel as though I am doing my best...and I am using my voice to create as much positive change as I can."

And Gu was eloquent and stoic when discussing the vitriol she has copped since her major announcement that foreshadowed her build-up to the Winter Olympics.

“If people don’t like me, that’s their loss, they’ll never win the Olympics,” she added.

"It doesn’t matter if other people are happy or not. I know that I’ve got a good heart, I know the reasons for making the decisions I do are for a greater common interest.

“If people don’t believe me, if they don’t share the same morals as me and I’m not going to waste my time placating them."

with agencies

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