Zhu Yi, US-born Figure Skater Competing For China, Faces Backlash After Falls – Gadget Clock

Zhu Yi, US-born Figure Skater Competing for China, Faces Backlash After Falls – Gadget Clock

American-born figure skater Zhu Yi fell several times and failed to land a jump during her Olympic debut for Team China, sparking backlash on Chinese social media.

The 19-year-old, who renounced her U.S. citizenship to compete for China, fell and crashed into a wall during the women’s short program team event on Sunday. Zhu then missed a jump in her routine and finished with the lowest score of the event, knocking China down from third to to fifth place.

The hashtag “Zhu Yi has fallen” quickly became a top trending topic Sunday night on China’s social media platform Weibo before it was later seemingly censored, according to the South China Morning Post.

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Zhu Yi, of China, falls in the women’s short program team figure skating competition at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 6, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

It was a swift turnabout for Zhu, who was cheered minutes earlier when she skated onto the ice at Beijing’s Capital Indoor Stadium for her Olympic debut.

On Monday, Zhu fell two more times in the women’s free skate, the final event in the team competition. Again, her name trended on Weibo, with the topic hashtag “Zhu Yi’s Winter Olympics debut is not perfect” gaining more than 33 million views within a few hours on Monday, Insider reported.

“I’m upset and a little embarrassed,” Zhu said after her performance Sunday, as she wiped away tears. “I guess I felt a lot of pressure because I know everybody in China was pretty surprised with the selection for ladies’ singles and I just really wanted to show them what I was able to do but unfortunately I didn’t.”

Many users also complained that the American-born skater had been given a spot on Team China over someone who is native born to compete in the Beijing Winter Olympics.

“She should just go back to her old home, her father can remain,” a Weibo user commented on a thread calling for her to return to the US. 

Zhu was born in Los Angeles, California, and renounced her U.S. citizenship in 2018 to compete at the Olympics for China, which doesn’t allow dual citizenship. Her father is a renowned computer scientist specializing in artificial intelligence and previously taught at the University of California, Los Angeles, before transferring to Peking University in Beijing.

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