On Thursday, freestyle skiing superstar Eileen Gu started her college career in California at Stanford University.
Gu, 19, celebrated the occasion on Thursday by sharing pictures of herself in a Stanford shirt with her mother Han Gu, who also attended Stanford as an MBA candidate, and her grandmother on Instagram in a post captioned, “Day one❤️🌲.” She also shared a series of photos showcasing the opening festivities and her dorm room in a post on the Chinese social media platform Weibo on the same day.
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It was her mother’s relocation to the Bay Area that “accidentally created a pro skier,” Gu told Forbes. At Lake Tahoe, the elder Gu fostered a passion for skiing, which she passed down to Eileen when she enrolled her in lessons. Now, 16 years and three Olympic gold medals later, Eileen Gu has grown into one of the sport’s brightest stars.
But Gu never let her blossoming athletic career get in the way of her academics, flying to Beijing every summer to attend cram school for mathematics, scoring a near-perfect 1580 on her SAT and becoming the first student ever to graduate early from San Francisco University High.
Outside school and the slopes, Gu has championed multiple social justice causes, including speaking out against the impacts of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade at the Aspen Ideas Festival and opening up about her personal experiences with Asian discrimination.
After spending her gap year speeding down the slopes of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games for Team China and strutting down the runway for some of the most prestigious fashion houses in the world, the next leg of Gu’s journey begins within the lecture halls of one of America’s most prestigious universities.
Featured Image via @eileen_gu_