Go to contents

The breakout stars of the Beijing Winter Games

Posted February. 23, 2022 07:41,   

Updated February. 23, 2022 07:41


Every Olympic season, the world’s eyes are on star athletes who rise to the challenge. The official website of the Olympic Games announced 10 breakout sports stars of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

Eileen Gu, a Chinese freestyle skier, is certainly the best among the breakout athletes. Born to an American father and a Chinese mother, Gu has competed under the Chinese flag since 2019. At her first Olympics in Beijing, Gu earned two golds and one silver in freestyle ski, rising to global stardom. Her immense popularity is evidenced by the sheer number of viewers, 18 million, who accessed a viral live Douyin (Chinese TikTok) show, to watch Eileen Gu. Her video earned some 120 million likes. The website likened the global phenomenon of the skier’s popularity to supernova, coining the term “Gupernova,” and wrote that Eileen Gu’s journey has just begun.

Su Yiming, a Chinese snowboard sensation, who won a gold and a silver was ranked at second. Su’s background as a child actor was also fun to know. Juraj Slafkovsky, a Slovakian ice hockey player, who led the country to win a bronze medal in men’s ice hockey by scoring seven goals and was top in the points table, was the third in the list. Slafkovsky has certainly made an impact, which made him a highly-targeted NHL draft pick.

Anna Shcherbakova of the ROC, who claimed gold medal in women’s figure skating, and Yuma Kagiyama, a Japanese silver medalist in men’s figure skating, were ranked fourth and fifth, respectively. No Korean athletes was included in the list.

Hong-Gu Kang windup@donga.com