Speed Reads

making history

2022 Olympics: Eileen Gu wins gold in freeski halfpipe

Freeskier Eileen Gu added to her medal count Friday in Beijing, and made her way into the history books.

The 18-year-old representing Team China won gold in the freestyle skiing halfpipe event, the third and final freeski event of the Olympics. She is now the first athlete to ever earn three freestyle skiing medals in one Olympics — earlier in the Games, Gu won a gold medal in the big air event and silver in slopestyle.

Gu won the halfpipe with her first run score of 93.25, and ESPN reports she tried even more tricks in the second run, going higher and completing back-to-back alley-oop flatspin 540s, earning a score of 95.25.

Canada's Cassie Sharpe, the defending Olympic gold medalist, took home the silver, while her teammate Rachael Karker won the bronze.

After the event, Gu said that being in the Olympics "changed my life forever," and she never imagined she would win two gold medals and a silver.

Gu was born in San Francisco to an American father and Chinese mother. Fluent in Mandarin, she was raised by her mother and grandmother, and spent her childhood summers in Beijing. Before 2019, she skied on the U.S. team, but left to compete for China in Beijing. She explained why in an Instagram post, writing that it was an "incredibly tough decision for me to make," but "the opportunity to help inspire millions of young people where my mom was born, during the 2022 Beijing Olympic Winter Games is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help to promote the sport I love."