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Eileen Gu and Zhu Yi, each American-born athletes competing for China in the Olympics, polarize Chinese social media

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TAIPEI, Taiwan (NBP News) — Two American-born athletes competing for China. Two radically diverse reactions from Chinese social media to their performances at the Wintertime Olympics.

As freestyle skier Eileen Gu received her gold medal in the huge air competitiveness on Tuesday, praise for the San Franciscan very virtually confused the Chinese net.

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Sina Weibo, the enormous social community that is equivalent to Twitter, located its servers quickly overloaded, in accordance to Chinese media. Of the leading ten trending matters on the system, 5 ended up committed to adoration for the eighteen-12 months-previous winner.
“Gu Ailing is a genius younger lady proper?” was a single trending subject matter, referencing her Chinese identify.

“Dad was Harvard, Mother was Peking College, Stanford, Grandmother was an athlete. She’s attractive and elegant,” stated a single put up recirculated 86,000 occasions.

It was a stark distinction to the reception obtained by an additional U.S.-born athlete competing for China, determine skater Zhu Yi, who a several times prior arrived underneath assault on social media right after she crashed into a wall in the course of the staff celebration. Zhu concluded previous in the limited system and China positioned fifth in the competitiveness, which was received by the Russian staff, with the U.S. getting silver and Japan bronze.

Weibo stated it experienced suspended ninety three accounts and deleted three hundred abusive posts about the Olympian, who was born in California to Chinese moms and dads and received a U.S. countrywide beginner title as Beverly Zhu. Messages mocked her for slipping when other people criticized her for not staying fluent in Chinese.

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“There’s no subsequent time,” wrote a single Weibo consumer, underneath a online video of Zhu crying at the finish of her effectiveness. “How shameful.” That remark was preferred a lot more than forty five,000 occasions.

“Go back again to The united states,” read through an additional remark accompanied by a U.S. flag emoji.

The anger towards Zhu was most likely fueled by an episode a several months previously, when she certified to contend at the Olympics.

She conquer out two other skaters for the previous location on the Chinese staff, which numerous followers felt really should have long gone to an additional younger skater, Chen Hongyi, who experienced a lot more aggressive encounter. It brought about ample of a controversy at the time that the Chinese determine skating Olympic variety committee issued a assertion defending the final decision.

As on the net criticism of Zhu crested, Gu arrived to the protection of her teammate. “Making blunders and tension are all aspect of athletics,” Gu stated at a news meeting right after her victory.

The two athletes are competing at a politically fraught instant, with a foot in each and every of two nations that have been clashing on a selection of difficulties, from economics to the lockup of China’s ethnic Uyghur minority populace in the western Xinjiang area to the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even though Gu’s final decision to contend for China has gotten outsized consideration, what she and Zhu are performing is rather typical in the worldwide sporting arena. Zhu gave up her U.S. citizenship in buy to contend for China in Beijing. It is unclear no matter whether Gu has performed the exact same she has by no means commented publicly on the query of her citizenship.

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In a signal of today’s very polarized political local weather, each Gu and Zhu have confronted criticism from conservative political figures and proper-wing media in the United States more than of their alter of sporting allegiance.

Linked Push researcher Chen Si and online video producer Caroline Chen contributed to this report from Beijing.

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