If Eileen Gu’s report of the Freestyle Ski World Cup competition last Saturday in Calgary is any indication, an Olympian’s day is as diverse as it is busy: Before heading up to the slopes for the final, she won the morning qualifiers, completed two essays, read some René Descartes and George Berkeley for a philosophy class, and “did some physics.”
“She continued, ignoring the fact that this was her first competitive appearance since the Winter Olympics, “I won that, came back, proofread my essay, turned it in, called it a night at ten, and went to bed. That was therefore one of those days.”
Gu, who was born in America, was about to make her Olympic debut in Beijing, representing China, her mother’s native country, at this time last year. She was already well-known because she was one of the athletes that had the most sponsorships throughout the Games. But few people outside of the skiing community had ever seen her in action. She won three medals, including golds in the halfpipe and big air disciplines, dispelling any doubts about the accuracy of her ability.
Gu has since applied to Stanford University as an undergraduate and has been recognized as one of Time magazine’s 100 most important individuals. She has improved her standing as a model who is in high demand. She made her Louis Vuitton catwalk debut in May, wearing a torso-baring ensemble from the brand’s Cruise 2023 collection. More recently, she has appeared on the pages of Harper’s Bazaar Singapore and Vogue Hong Kong.
Speaking to CNN sports anchor and correspondent Coy Wire before of this weekend’s Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado, she remarked, “People often believe that fashion and skiing are these two entirely distinct entities… when in reality, the essential parts are actually extremely similar.”
“Both have their roots in a spirit of creativity and self-expression. Both demand a lot of self-assurance, the capacity to perform well under duress, and the ability to be wholly authentic. And I believe that these traits truly do translate.”