American-born Eileen Gu wins stunning women’s freestyle big air gold medal for China

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American-born Eileen Gu of China cranked out the first 1620 of her career on her final jump, stunning France’s Tess Ledeux and earning the first of what she hopes will be three gold medals in women’s freestyle big air.

Nicknamed the “Snow Princess,” Gu is among the biggest local names at the Beijing Games. She’s a medal favorite in big air, slopestyle and halfpipe. Her first stab at gold came down to the last round.

eileen gu
Eileen Gu celebrates her gold medal in the women’s freski big air.
EPA

Ledeux is the only other woman to ever land a 1620 — 4 ½ spins — in competition, and she stomped one out with a slight wobble on the landing in Round 1.

Gu hinted after qualifying Monday that she might be able to match Ledeux. With everything on the line, she did.

The 18-year-old from San Francisco shrieked when she landed the jump, then dropped to her knees when her score of 94.50 was announced.

Ledeux tried to improve on her second run in Round 3, coming into the jump backward for a switch 1440. She was shaky on the landing, though, clearing the way for Gu’s gold

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