Teenage Olympian Eileen Gu sparkles at Met Gala

Eileen Gu is currently the most well known of China's foreign-born athletes. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK - Olympic freestyle skier and model Eileen Gu was one of the stars who sparkled on the red carpet at the Met Gala extravaganza in New York on Monday (May 2).

Gu, 18, turned up at the event in a strapless leather dress by Louis Vuitton, together with a metal clutch and knee-high boots.

The theme of this year's fundraiser for New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, was In America: An Anthology Of Fashion and the dress code was Gilded Glamour and White Tie, a reference to America's Gilded Age from about 1870 to 1900.

This was the second appearance at the star-studded event for Gu. Last year she donned a white strapless bubble dress.

The American-born freestyle skiing teenage sensation is currently the most well known of China's foreign-born athletes.

An ambassador for over 30 global brands in China, she has graced the covers of the Chinese editions of Vogue and Marie Claire.

Gu, who was born to an American father and a Chinese mother, used to compete for the US before switching her allegiance to China in 2019.

She made history in February by becoming the first freestyle skier to win three medals at the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Her appearance at the Met Gala sparked huge interest on Chinese social media platform Weibo, with the hashtag #EileenGuMetGalaRedCarpet viewed more than 330 million times as at Wednesday noon.

Gu, who starts her studies at Stanford University later this year, raised questions about her nationality status on April 27 when she wrote on Weibo: "Thank you, China."

On the same day on Instagram, she wrote: "Thank you China for the unforgettable few months & for the endless love."

Known as Gu Ailing in China, she has previously dodged questions about her nationality, instead making comments on how she "is American when in the US and Chinese in China".

China does not recognise dual citizenship.

Several netizens asked her in the comment section why she did not write: "Thank you, motherland", while other netizens said she was just saying her farewell before leaving China.

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