Power Play Podcast: Eileen Gu at centre of Winter Olympics' foreign talent and nationalism issues

Eileen Gu celebrates on the podium during the medals ceremony in Beijing on Feb 8, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

Synopsis: On the third Friday of every month, The Straits Times examines various facets of the US-China rivalry and its implications for Asia. 

Eileen Gu, an 18-year-old San Francisco-born skier, known in China by her Chinese name Ailing, has won hearts with her Beijing-accented Mandarin. Eileen had competed for the United States team when she was younger but switched to compete for China in 2019. At the time of recording, she has won two medals for China in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, one gold, one silver. Join Charissa Yong and Danson Cheong - ST’s US and China correspondents respectively based in Washington DC and Beijing - as they chat about the following:

Highlights (click/tap above):

01:37 Perception of Eileen Gu, a freestyle skier trained in America, competing for China at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

04:07 18-year old Eileen Gu has to defend her identity as being equally Chinese and American

06:29 Athletes who hold dual-nationality, face issues regardless of whether in the US or in China

08:24 Many foreign-born athletes, specifically of Chinese descent, represent China at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

Produced by: Charissa Yong (charyong@sph.com.sg), Danson Cheong (dansonc@sph.com.sg), Fa'izah Sani and Teo Tong Kai

Edited by: Teo Tong Kai & Fa'izah Sani

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