Eileen Gu is busier than most individuals her age. In any case, the 19-year-old skilled skier just isn’t solely a two-time Olympic gold medalist, but additionally a extremely sought-after mannequin. Plus, she’s a full-time scholar at Stanford, residing the nice outdated faculty life by attending courses and hanging out with mates — that’s, when she’s not touring the world for sports activities competitions or style shoots. Briefly, she has loads happening.
So once I received the prospect to speak with the freestyle ski star — who teamed up with IWC Schaffhausen to host a youngsters’ coaching day forward of the X Video games in Aspen, Colorado — by way of Zoom, in fact I mentioned sure. (I imply, you are curious to see how she does, too, proper?) Collectively we chatted about her experiences as an Olympian, her purpose to encourage the subsequent era of skiers, and handle her teenage workload.
You made the controversial determination to compete for China on the Beijing Olympics. How was that have for you?
I used to be very joyful to take part within the Olympics in China after which see the affect these video games (and hopefully my achievements) had on sports activities tradition in China and worldwide, particularly within the area of motion sports activities and younger ladies. After I went to the Olympics I all the time mentioned my purpose was to encourage younger ladies to take up the game of snowboarding and use it to interrupt their boundaries, or to encourage them in each facet of their lives. [I want to encourage them] to strive one thing new for themselves, not be afraid to push themselves to their limits and see how wonderful and highly effective they are often. Wanting again on the Olympics, I positively achieved that purpose. There are tons of of thousands and thousands of individuals within the snow in China and worldwide who at the moment are having fun with the game I really like a lot. I can say with one hundred pc certainty that I did what I needed to do. There’s nothing anybody can say that may take that away from me as a result of there was an enormous optimistic affect after the video games; that was crucial to me.
What is the largest lesson you’ve got discovered to date in your profession as a younger skilled skier?
I feel the toughest factor about snowboarding is absolutely understanding your self. Stress exacerbates what’s already in your head. In case you go right into a match and assume, “I can not do that, I am so scared, I’ll lose,” the extra stress you apply, the extra actual these ideas will turn into. The alternative can be true. In case you really feel like you will have confidence in your talents and have performed the mandatory coaching, then that may manifest for you. Having the ability to management what you assume, compartmentalize these damaging ideas, and prepare successfully — that is actually vital to me proper now. I’ve three occasions and I’m the one one taking part in all three, as an added problem. Plus, [I’m] the one full-time scholar, so [that’s] double problem. Of all these exterior components, what issues is how robust your sense of self is, how assured you’re in your psychological recreation, and how one can carry out that day.
With that in thoughts, is there any recommendation you wish to share with younger ladies (and boys) who aspire to comply with in your footsteps?
Most significantly, do not be afraid to strive. Many individuals, together with myself, have had many experiences the place we really feel judged; we’re afraid of falling as a result of we predict will probably be embarrassing, or we aren’t welcome. Or that individuals who appear like us or have a background like us should not mirrored in our industries. All of that is extremely isolating, and they are often devastating to somebody’s vanity after they’re younger – even after they’re outdated too! Crucial lesson is to not be afraid to strive, to seek out individuals who help you and to encompass your self with positivity. As well as, discover your ardour and belief your self greater than those that decide you externally. In case you love one thing and you actually wish to do it, the one voice that issues is yours. Simply keep in mind that and keep true to your self, as cliche as that sounds.
Let’s transfer on to style. How do you deliver your sense of favor to the slopes?
I feel snowboarding and style positively play collectively in my life. Snowboarding particularly, I assist design what goes on my skis; I’ve my signature on it and different components that I pitch. Final yr it was the Chinese language proverb ‘A Dragon Amongst Individuals’ within the type of a dragon. This yr I’ve a phoenix, with “Everlasting Flame” etched on the rim of the sidewall. It is a play on the Olympic flame. There are a variety of private fashion components I’ve put into my gear that imply loads to me. I feel snowboarding and style complement one another as a result of they’re each so private and expressive, so the interaction of each is one thing that I take pleasure in a lot.
As somebody who spends a lot time in chilly climate, what are your largest winter skincare ideas?
Put on sunscreen! It is the largest factor. I apply sunscreen twice a day until I am actually targeted on coaching; you may know i had week as a result of you may see a bit goggle tan. As well as, be sure to all the time have your moisturizer with you. I’ve a quite simple skincare routine; I simply placed on a moisturizer and a serum and that is it, however everybody has to play to their very own strengths and know what their pores and skin wants. Additionally eat your fruits and veggies and drink water as a result of that makes an enormous distinction.
You undoubtedly have one all busy schedule. How do you handle to take care of a wholesome stability and mindset throughout all this?
It is a whirlwind, however in the absolute best manner. The truth that I achieve this many various issues retains it attention-grabbing. If I spent on a regular basis I spend doing issues in a single facet of my life, I would be burned out already. What retains me from losing interest is the juxtaposition of these completely different points of my life on the similar time. It is arduous to get bored with one factor if you happen to solely do it for an hour, and so once I’m in school I am excited to be there; I’m bodily current with my mates and within the lecture rooms. After I’m gone I do not take into consideration college as a result of all of the sudden I am the other way up and I haven’t got to be taught my physics from a textbook anymore; I reside it in actual life. Style is expressive, enjoyable and artistic. I meet all these unimaginable folks and have the chance to precise myself and my values in a manner I do not get in different points of my life. All these improbable components in my life match collectively on this distinctive puzzle, and that is what retains issues attention-grabbing, not regardless of one another, however due to it.
What are you learning in school now?
I have never given up my main but – you do not have to declare your main till the top of your sophomore yr and I am now at 1 / 4 and a half. However final quarter I took a quantum physics class, a poly sci class, and a few core prerequisite courses. I had 17 items final quarter, with 20 being the max. This quarter, I am taking 18 items with some philosophy courses, a writing intensive, and a conventional Chinese language medication class; we’ll see if that was a sensible thought…I am additionally take part in quite a lot of completely different competitions.
What’s subsequent for you?
I’ve simply had two World Cup wins, in order that was crucial to me. It was my first competitors after the Olympics and I used to be out of the competitors scene for over 11 months, so being again was positively a confidence increase and jogged my memory how a lot I really like competitors. l [just had] the X Video games, and I am pondering World Championships and World Cups later. On the finish of the day it is simply me in opposition to myself. I attempt to do my greatest on the day; that is all i can ask for.
Dale Arden Chong is the Senior Style Commerce Editor at ELLE.com. Beforehand, she was an editor at MensHealth.com and has written for Who What Put on, GLAMOUR, The Coveteur, and extra. She loves style, meals and artwork amongst others, however her largest love is Okay-pop idol V from BTS.