The 16-year-old ski athlete refuses to play for the US in the Winter Olympics

Eileen Gu, a Chinese-American female snowboarder, received cheering on the Chinese media when deciding to naturalize and compete for this country.

According to China Plus, Eileen Gu stated on social media that she transferred citizenship from the United States to China on June 6. She acquired Chinese nationality to compete in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

According to Olympic rules, athletes with dual nationality have the right to choose to represent a country to compete. However, Chinese law does not recognize dual citizenship and requires Gu to renounce US citizenship.

The girl, born in 2003, said she will continue to live, study and train in the US, while returning to visit China for summer vacations and competitions. She did not comment on questions regarding American citizenship

Eileen Gu was born and raised in the US, whose mother is originally from Beijing. She speaks Chinese fluently. The athlete said the decision to join the Chinese team was extremely difficult, but hoped her actions would help strengthen the friendship between countries and inspire young girls to participate in sports.

The United States has many of the world’s top skiers, and some have switched nationalities due to intense competition to be part of the national team. According to CapRelo’s research, at the 2018 Winter Olympics, 178 athletes were naturalized to compete for other countries, including 37 people from the United States.

However, for Gu, who has been skiing since she was 3 years old and won many medals, she said she is confident she will participate in the Olympics even if she chooses to recruit the United States. Even so, she still wants to return to play for her homeland.

China has seen athletes (mostly in table tennis) naturalizing for other countries. However, when it comes to winter sports, this country is struggling with a scarcity of talent. They have won nine medals at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Games, too small for Norway’s 39, or 17 for Korean hosts.

In tennis, Naomi Osaka also faced the difficult decision of life. She must choose either American or Japanese nationality on October 22 until she turns 22. Japanese law does not recognize people with dual nationality.