Eileen Gu Freeskiing

China is absolutely allowing her to keep her US citizenship. She’s been very dodgy when it comes to answering questions about it. Meanwhile, all the American and Canadian hockey players China imported to play for their national team have openly been saying “I told them I wouldn’t give up my citizenship and they said no problem!” China has no problem bending their own citizenship laws when it suits them.

(and before anyone jumps on me, yes, every country is that way, some moreso than others)


I’m relieved to hear that!

She’s extremely popular in China. Lots of lucrative sponsorship deals. She gets way more attention there than she would in the US. She made a very sound financial decision. Nothing wrong with that.

I am not a fan. I personally find her willingness to likely give her up US citizenship a total slap in the face to the people who are literally dying to get to the United States. She was born here, lived a life of the elites, the best most elite schools and life and she essentially gave the middle finger to the country and threw her citizenship in the trash. Its just gross to me. We have people literally living in cages at the borders to try to get here and shes like “no biggie.” Sorry but she seems to be an entitled brat.


Yes, I am not surprised that China bent the rules, and this is certainly something that we have seen before in gymnastics land. Azerbaijan gymnasts? Check. Those two gymnasts from the US who were not going to make the US team and who instead competed for another country despite the fact that neither gymnast had even set foot in that country? Check.

Gu at least has a clear, strong connection to China, and I believe she also speaks fluent Mandarin. China is a huge market plus she has less competition for endorsement deals, so I wouldn’t jump to the conclusion that she is missing out on endorsements.

I’m sure she kept her US citizenship for a couple of reasons 1) taxes 2) ease of travel for school etc and wishing to avoid going through the process of applying for a student visa. For those US and Canadian hockey players playing for team China, it was probably even more important to keep their citizenship because they are not going to be rolling in endorsements like Gu, who is probably earning millions of dollars.


Well, a country not allowing dual citizenship is pretty restrictive anyway. China isn’t alone, but is at the extreme end of the spectrum in that respect. There are plenty of places that permit two, or more even. I have a little cousin who’s entitled to four and there’s nothing in UK law, the country where she resides, that forbids it.

Nominally, China absolutely does not allow for the holding to dual citizenship. Gu has been asked numerous times about her citizenship status, and she’s refused to give a clear answer. I’ve seen it theorized that Chinese leadership doesn’t want their people to know they’ve bent the rule for Gu and she’s playing along with it because she’s after some very lucrative Chinese sponsorship opportunities. Whereas, say, Jake Chelios is never going to be a household name in China and is going to hightail is right back to the US as soon as possible. China is less concerned about him openly talking about his dual citizenship (though I have to imagine they’re not thrilled about this ESPN article: https://www.espn.com/olympics/story/_/id/33246445/winter-olympics-2022-odd-olympic-journey-china-men-hockey-team).

Kunlun refers to those born outside of China as “Heritage and Import” players. China does not allow dual citizenship, but it’s known to make exceptions for foreign athletes.

“I told China that I’ll never give up my [U.S.] passport, and they said that’s fine,” said Smith.

The US doesn’t allow dual citizenship if you get the other one first and then go for US citizenship, right? Like our imported Canadian athletes have to give up their Canadian citizenship to get US citizenship correct? (I guess they can probably go back and get it again somehow because I think Canada allows dual citizenship) I know Japan makes people decide by 21 which is why Naomi Osaka had to give up her US citizenship (I’m pretty sure she had US citizenship). Chris and Cathy Reed gave up their US citizenship to compete in ice dance for Japan while the Shibutanis gave up their Japanese citizenship to keep their US citizenship and compete in ice dance for the US.

I mean, I personally wouldn’t want to compete for China with their history of disappearing athletes who are not a use to them any more but maybe she can inspire the next generation to realize that their military is made of regular people and they don’t have to prop up corrupt governments (hint, hint russia).

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Canada definitely allows dual (I have Canadian by birth + UK by descent, and have an uncle that has Canada, UK and Aussie passports, a US green card, and permanent residency in Japan). I think to get citizenship back after renouncing you start again from scratch, ie applying through the points process (or family/school), putting in the time to get PR, then citizenship, etc. I don’t believe you can just turn on being Canadian again.

Yeah, i figured it was a process but you don’t have to give up your newly acquired other citizenship to do it.

Not so. Foreign nationals can become U.S. citizens and continue to hold their foreign citizenship (unless of course their country of origin does not allow dual citizneship)

But she did not give up her U.S. citizenship – at least as far as I know. Also, she is a young kid, an athlete and she has strong personal ties to China. She made a decision about how to compete in the Olympics. She did not "thr[o]w her citizenship in the trash. Plenty of Americans have dual citizenship. I do not see anything wrong with what she did.

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She may have given it up. We dont know. And she is a legal adult, not a child. She did it for the money - and I still think she’s entitled and gross. In the end it literally doesn’t affect me, but here in the US I do have the freedom to say she’s entitled and not support this adult.

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I agree. There’s nothing wrong with dual citizenship, some people like my own offspring have it simply by virtue of who they were born to, and we can’t assume she’s given her citizenship up in any case.

But also the whole idea that a person is doing something wrong if they don’t want something they have that others desire/need is a pretty slippery slope. Who gets to decide if someone’s reason for choosing to keep or retain a citizenship that they’re entitled to is legitimate?

Oh, my bad. I thought to get US citizenship you had to renounce all other citizenships. (guess I could have googled before saying anything but laziness or giving an opinion, I think we all know which I chose)

I believe TECHNICALLY you have to renounce your previous citizenship, but not all countries will recognize that. “That’s cute, you “renounced” your citizenship to become American. You’re still a citizen of our county. Here’s your passport.”

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When you swear in at the US Citizenship ceremony I believe you have to say you renounce all prior citizenships. In reality, they never ask you to hand in your old passport or anything like that.

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You renounce your "allegiance and fidelity to any foreign [state] " that you were previously a citizen or subject. You do NOT renounce your citizenship and you for sure do not give up prior citizenships. Its basically just verbiage about loyalty.

She 18 for pete sake. My sons are just a few years older now and they still are not real adults – not in my eyes anyway. And what’s wrong with doing something for money? She’s not making any big political statements, she was just competing at the Olympics in the way she thought best for her career. She is an American but she is also proud of her Chinese heritage. What’s wrong with that? In fact most Americans have at least some affinity for the lands from which they descended. I’m proud of my (half) Irish heritage. It does not make me a traitor.
As far as being “entitled and gross” I think she seems to be a perfectly lovely young woman. Wildly and multi talented.


Though when they were talking about how she graduated high school early and was going to big-name-college-i-forgot and how smart she is, I was thinking “she flings herself down an ice mountain (or into an ice tube) and does tricks flips and lands on two flimsy composite sticks–how smart can she be?” :wink:

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