Eileen Gu's parents and family life explored ahead of Beijing 2022

Yasmine Leung February 2, 2022
Eileen Gu's parents and family life explored ahead of Beijing 2022
Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Eileen Gu will represent China at the Winter Olympics 2022 rather than her native US and fans want to know more about her parents as the event approaches. Her father isn’t known so let’s find out more about mom!

The 18-year-old announced on Instagram in 2019 she would compete for China instead of Team USA at Beijing, adding it was an “incredibly tough decision to make”. She was just 15 years old at the time.

Gu obtained a Chinese passport after the decision, as reported by The Guardian, although it’s unclear whether she still holds her US passport – China does not recognise dual nationality.

With the Olympics starting in a couple of days, there’s renewed interest in Gu’s parents and background following her decision. Read on to find out more.

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Born in the USA: Get to know Eileen Gu

Gu was born in San Francisco on 3 September 2003. A fluent Mandarin speaker, she represented the US during the 2018-19 season.

In her announcement to compete for China, she cited her mission as: “To unite people, promote common understanding, create communication, and forge friendships between nations.” She also aims to become an inspiration for a new generation of skiers in China in the same way she looked up to American and Canadian athletes as a youngster.

When she’s not on the slopes, the 18-year-old is busy jetting around the world modelling and attending fashion shows. Gu has graced the cover of Vogue Hong Kong, Super Elle China and Instyle China.

After the Winter Olympics Gu will return to her studies, however, after gaining a place at her mother’s alma mater, Stanford.

Eileen Gu’s parents – Yan studied in the US

Gu’s mother is Yan Gu but her father’s identity remains unknown, although it is known he’s Caucasian.

Yan Gu, a Beijing native, moved to the US in her 20s and studied biochemistry and molecular biology at Auburn University and molecular genetics at Rockefeller University, Forbes reports. She also enrolled at Stanford University Graduate School Of Business.

Yan has worked in investment banking at companies in New York and California. For the past eight years she has worked as a private investor and expert in China for Fusion Investment.

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It’s highly likely the pro athlete was inspired by her mother. Yan Gu skied for the first time at Hunter Mountain, New York, and her passion for the sport developed when she relocated to California.

From 2006 to 2008, she was a part-time ski instructor at Northstar California Resort. As a result, Eileen was signed up for lessons in Lake Tahoe so she could keep up – oh how the tables have turned!

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Yasmine is a third-year Anthropology and Media student at Goldsmiths University with a new obsession with League of Legends, despite being really bad. She's always on social media keeping on top of the latest news and trends and is HITC’s expert in Korean pop culture. She also loves music, TV and fashion - her favourite things to write about.