At first glance, Olympic athletes Eileen Gu and Nathan Chen seem to have a lot in common.
Both Gu and Chen were born to first-generation Chinese immigrants (Gu’s father was American) in the western United States, San Francisco and Salt Lake City respectively. They grew up in the American school system while their parents worked. Both began to pursue their sports early in life and later went on to become gold-medal Olympians.
Gu and Chen seem to be perfect products of the American Dream, but to the 2022 Winter Olympics, their paths could not be more different. Despite growing up in the United States and reaping the benefits of a free country, Gu, a freeskier, is competing for the 2022 games’ host Communist China while Chen competes for his home country, the United States.
Gu first defected from representing the United States in 2019 “to unite people, promote common understanding, create communication, and forge friendships between nations.”
Since allying herself with the authoritarian regime, Gu has received praise and adoration from the Chinese Communist Party, state-controlled media, Chinese nationals, and even American corporate media outlets.
While Gu willingly aligned herself with a genocidal dictatorship guilty of oppressing billions of people, Chen is a proud American who has won half a dozen Olympic medals for the United States. His Instagram is filled with patriotic photos expressing gratitude to his parents and Team USA for supporting his dream to be a competitive figure skater.
Gu, on the other hand, has spent her time on social media naively trying to justify the CCP’s censorship and propaganda to angry internet users.
While communist-controlled media in China claim Gu renounced her U.S. citizenship three years ago because China doesn’t allow dual citizenship, Gu has refused to answer questions about whether she still has an American passport.
“So coming here, I really feel there was a sense of coming home,” Gu said about returning to China for the 2022 Games. “I feel just as American as Chinese. I don’t feel I’m taking advantage of one or another. They understand that my mission is to foster a connection between countries and not a divisive force.”
Instead of pretending, like Gu is, that China deserves to be hosting the Olympics, Chen is using his platform to raise awareness of the communist country’s wicked track record.
When three-time Olympic ice dancer Evan Bates passionately denounced China’s human rights abuses and scolded the communist regime for committing genocide against the Uyghur Muslims, world champion Chen said he agreed that “the fact that people are talking about this issue, and the Olympics are bringing it to light is already a step in the right direction.”
“I agree with what Evan was saying,” said Chen, ignoring Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s orders to refrain from criticizing China during the Olympics. “I think for a greater change to occur there must be power that is beyond the Olympics. It has to be change at a remarkable scale.”
In a world of China-sympathizing Eileen Gus, we should all try to be a U.S.-loving Nathan Chen.
Official Olympics partners such as Coca-Cola claim to care about human rights, but enable communist China by partnering with the International Olympic Committee. Plenty of media companies such as NBCUniversal also profit off their relationship with the authoritarian regime. Because of their financial relationship with China, these massive, influential companies will stay silent about China’s genocide.
Even celebrities and athletes who gladly spoke up about social justice in the United States are silent on the CCP’s cruelty. Many were quick to ditch their patriotism and criticize the “injustices” of the United States but don’t care enough to stand up for the voiceless whose oppression is funded by American companies’ dollars.
More Americans and Olympic athletes need to be like Chen, who isn’t afraid to speak up for what’s right or celebrate the freedoms granted by life in the United States.