“Before Eileen Gu took to the air and spun 4½ times into a new echelon of fame, she called her mother. She needed to make a critical decision: Perfect a familiar trick, or unfurl one she had never done. Mom told her to play it safe. The daughter, 18 going on immortality, rejected caution. ‘Mom, executive call!’ Gu exclaimed. ‘Vetoed.'” Gu’s mom shouldn’t feel bad. Every teenager is predisposed to veto parental advice, and Eileen Gu is less likely than most to be swayed by the opinions of others. Gu grew up in San Francisco. But in the Beijing Olympics, she’s competing for China. Don’t like that? Oh, Gu hoo. She doesn’t care. It’s all much a Gu about nothing. Your slippery slope is her ski jump ramp. “Here’s the thing: I’m not trying to keep anyone happy. I’m an 18-year-old girl trying to live my best life. I know that I have a good heart and know that my reasons are for the common interest and greater good. No matter what I say, if people don’t have a good heart, they won’t believe me because they can’t empathize with people who do have a good heart. So in that sense, I feel as though it’s a lot easier to block out the hate now. If people don’t believe me and people don’t like me, that’s their loss. And also, they’re never going to know what it feels like to win the Olympics.” Well, Gu does know what it’s like to win gold, and she still has two more events. So you do you, Gu’s gonna do Gu. WaPo (Gift Article): Eileen Gu is an original, and the world is going to have to deal with it. (My teens are tougher on me and they can barely snowplow.)

+ Eileen Gu in the NYT: “I’m proud of the work I’ve done to cope with pressure by bolstering my self-esteem and minimizing my need for external validation. I focus on gratitude, perspective, and on the joy this sport brings me, regardless of whether I’m alone or in front of a worldwide TV audience. Though my views of myself and the world are constantly evolving, one thing is for certain: no matter how much time passes, I’ll always be a hopeless romantic when it comes to fear.”

+ Gu bidding America Adieu hits a little harder since the US has yet to win its first gold medal.

+ While the sports are fun to watch, the internet stars of these games are the weird smokestacks that would make better backdrops for a Bruce Springsteen song than a winter sport competition. There’s no real snow at these games. The outdoor scenes are depressingly ugly. Whatever the IOC was paid off, it wasn’t enough.

+ 5 Olympic skiers disqualified for baggy outfits.