US-born skier Eileen Gu, aka “Genocide Barbie,” who competed for China at the Beijing Winter Olympics, won the ESPY for “Athlete of the Year.”
During her acceptance speech, Aileen Gu thanked her grandmother and mother for teaching her to be a “strong, empowered woman” before concluding with a statement in Mandarin.
ESPN gave the ESPY for “Breakthrough Athlete of the Year” to San Francisco-raised skier Eileen Gu, who is a current student at Stanford but renounced her U.S. citizenship to compete for China in the Olympics last year. pic.twitter.com/3EwdtI1o9D
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) July 21, 2022
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) July 21, 2022
— ESPN (@espn) July 21, 2022
Before winning gold for China in the women’s freeski big air competition, Gu sparked criticism on Chinese social media for claiming the dictatorship tolerated internet freedom. The incident began when an Instagram user slammed Gu for failing to see how China stifles free speech.
“Why can you use Instagram and millions of mainland Chinese people can’t,” the user said. “Why do you get such special treatment as a Chinese citizen? It’s not right, can you speak for the millions of Chinese who don’t have internet freedom.”
Gu replied: “[A]Anyone can download a VPN from the App Store.
Gu may or may not have been aware of the fact that China only allows its citizens to use approved social media apps. At the same time, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp are blocked in communist countries. As Breitbart News has profiled countless times, China maintains a stranglehold on Internet freedom, frequently blocking VPN services and punishing those who try to bypass censorship while constantly running their own propaganda.
China’s state propaganda shared American athletes’ glowing praise for Chinese Communist Party “volunteers” at the Beijing Olympics. https://t.co/WQ1LEuVbUr
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) February 10, 2022
Eileen Gu is very successful as a fashion model in China, with a portfolio that includes advertisements for Gucci and Louis Vuitton. She has become one of the country’s biggest celebrities with a lot of exposure through her modeling career, state media coverage and flashy ad campaigns.
【爱玲】As we count down to the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics, a moment for our third VOGUE+ guest editor, 18-year-old freestyle skier, model and dreamer, Eileen Gu. (ph: Davit Giorgadze) ⛷️❄️☃️ pic.twitter.com/Zy8uFIB5Nl
— Margaret Zhang 章凝 (@Margaret Zhang) February 4, 2022
Breitbart News previously did an extensive profile on Eileen Gu and her ascension to what Americans later dubbed the “Genocide Barbie.”
As for the increasingly buzzy ESPY Awards, the show’s viewership has steadily declined since Caitlyn Jenner was awarded the “Courage” award in 2015.