by Allan Wall, US Incorporated, ©2022
(Feb. 25, 2021) — The 2022 Olympic Winter Games were just held from February 4-20, in and around Beijing, China.
Norway was the winner, garnering more medals overall (37) and more gold medals (16) than any other national team.
Norway only has a population of 5.5 million people. However, it’s a rich country in the far north, so that helps a lot.
In second place was Germany with 12 gold medals and 27 medals in total.
Third place was host China, with nine gold medals (15 total). The U.S. came in fourth place with eight gold medals (25 total).
Overall, 29 national teams won at least one medal, out of 91 teams competing.
The Olympics lie at the intersection of sports and nationality, raising questions about citizenship in the contemporary world.
Normally, an Olympic athlete competes for his own country, but in our contemporary, globalized world, a growing number of athletes don’t compete for the country in which they were raised.
Consider the case of freeskier Eileen Gu.
Eileen Gu was born in the U.S., the daughter of a white American father and a Chinese immigrant mother. Gu is her mother’s maiden name.
Eileen was raised in the U.S. by her mother and maternal grandparents. She speaks English and Mandarin in a Beijing dialect.
She started skiing at the age of 3. She was a real natural and became a great competitor.
When competing internationally, Eileen represented the United States. After all, she was born, raised, and trained as a skier in the U.S.
But in June of 2019, Eileen switched over to compete for China.
What’s her citizenship?
The Chinese Olympic Committee presented the International Olympic Committee with a copy of her Chinese passport in 2019.
Interestingly, she has apparently not renounced her U.S. citizenship.
Eileen describes her identity thusly: “When I’m in the U.S., I’m American, but when I’m in China, I’m Chinese.”
Like many celebrities, Eileen Gu speaks out about politics and social issues, albeit rather one-sidedly.
On the American side, Eileen decries anti-Asian racism in the U.S. and supports the so-called ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.
But on the Chinese side, she doesn’t publicly condemn the Chinese government’s arrest of pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong or its treatment of the Uyghurs in western China.
After all, Eileen says, “There’s no need to be divisive.”
When dealing with China, that is. Not the U.S.
Funny how that works.
In the 2022 Olympics, competing for China, Eileen Gu (known in China as Gu Ailing) won two gold medals and one silver in freeski events.
Read the rest here.