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Beijing Winter Olympics

Star skier Eileen Gu faces slippery slope after Beijing success

Global Times' Hu Xijin highlights risks to teen medalist's trans-Pacific appeal

U.S.-born Eileen Gu celebrates winning the silver medal for China in the women's slopestyle event on Feb. 15.   © Reuters

NEW YORK -- U.S.-born skiing sensation Eileen Gu Ailing was showered with praise and millions of dollars worth of endorsement deals even before she won gold for China at the Beijing Winter Games. Now an Olympic champion -- with silver medal added on Tuesday -- the teenager would seem to have nothing standing in her way.

As the 18-year-old looks to the next phase of her ascendant career, however, she faces a slippery slope as she attempts to keep fans and sponsors happy on both sides of the Pacific. Her story has become a complex discussion about the thin line between sports and geopolitics, as well as one about privilege.

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