"Thank you for the positive energy you gave me!" "We all love you!" Chinese netizens flooded to China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo platform to leave warm messages for Olympic gold winning skier Gu Ailing, also Known as Eileen Gu, after she posted “Thank you China” late on Wednesday as she prepared to leave the country.
The post, saying “Thank you China” with a Chinese national flag and a heart Emoji, had attracted more than 333,000 likes and more than 44,000 comments on Weibo as of Thursday night.
“So happy to know you in the past winter. You brightened up the darkness like a little sun. Thank you for the positive energy and surprises you brought us in the past months. Wish you good luck and we will miss you!” a netizen commented on Weibo.
Gu also released a post on Instagram the same day, saying “Thank you China for the unforgettable few months & for the endless love.”
Gu first came into public view on June 6, 2019, when she announced on Weibo that she would represent Team China in the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. In the same month, Gu changed her registered nationality from the US to China on the official website of the International Snow Federation.
Over the next two years, she won 12 gold medals for China. More and more people become familiar with Gu, a girl who loves to eat dumplings and Peking roast duck, especially when they found out that Gu's Beijing accented Putonghua is "more standard than my own."
She rocked the Chinese community after winning her first Winter Olympics gold in the big air freestyle event. In total, she won two gold medals and one silver during the Beijing Winter Olympic Games.
Gu was the most talked-about athlete on Chinese social media platforms during the Winter Games, not only because of her early decision to represent China instead of the US and her remarkable talent, but also for her unstoppable energy and enthusiasm for skiing. She inspired many Chinese young people, who said Gu was a world idol who represents sporting spirit.
"I think she is very cool. She inspired many of my friends to do 'exciting and dangerous' sports such as skiing, ice hockey and motorcycle scrambling," one netizen said.
Gu also attended a ceremony on April 8 awarding people who made outstanding contributions to Beijing's hosting of the Beijing 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.