Eileen Gu – also known by her Chinese name, Gu Ailing – was born in 2003 in San Francisco. Her father is American and her mother is Chinese.
Eileen started skiing when she was only three years old and became champion of the junior group of the USA Snowboard and Freeski Association at the age of nine, before entering the senior ranks when she was just 13.
She earned her first World Cup victory at the FIS Freeski World Cup Slopestyle in Seiser Alm, Italy, when she was 15 in January 2019. Then, on June 6 of the same year, she announced that she would be representing China competitively via her Instagram account. (Eileen had been competing for the US in international events since the 2017–18 season.)
Proving her dedication to the sport, Eileen set herself the goal of graduating after completing two years of high school in just one year. A feat she duly accomplished.
While still in high school, Eileen put down a real statement of intent at the 2020 Youth Games in Lausanne, Switzerland, taking Halfpipe gold and Slopestyle silver. She then further cemented her credentials at her first X Games appearance at the 2021 event in Aspen, making history as the first-ever female rookie to win three medals after taking gold in both Ski Slopestyle and Superpipe, as well as a bronze in Ski Big Air.
Two months later Eileen once again demonstrated her huge potential, securing bronze in Big Air and claiming gold in both the Halfpipe and Slopestyle competition at the FIS Freestyle Skiing World Championship in Aspen.
The 2021-22 campaign saw her take her first-ever crystal globe from the FIS World Cup. She put together a flawless Halfpipe season to finish undefeated.
Having deferred entry into Stanford University until the summer of 2022, Eileen is now fully focused on the Winter Games in Beijing where she hopes to inspire a whole new generation of Chinese skiers.