American-born freestyle skier Eileen Gu pulled off a trick so amazing with a gold medal on the line Monday that she even left her own jaw on the floor.
Gu big or go home.
The 18-year-old skier from San Francisco pulled off a double cork 1620, which is 4 ½ rotations while simultaneously flipping twice, on her third and final run to take home the gold for China in the inaugural Olympic women's big air competition.
Gu had never even attempted the trick before, and she pulled it off on the biggest stage imaginable.
“You shine the brightest when you’re under pressure, and I think today I showed that under pressure on the third run," Gu said on the NBC broadcast afterward. "Never done that trick before, never even attempted that trick before, never even thought about doing that trick before until 20, 30 minutes before my run.”
Gu even shocked herself, grabbing the top of her helmet and dropping her jaw in disbelief after nailing the trick.
Gu is not competing for Team USA, however, and is instead representing China, her mother's homeland. Her mom, Yan, raised her daughter as a single parent in San Francisco, often taking her to Beijing during the summer to visit family, according to The New York Times.
Gu told reporters after her win that her mom called her before that final run and told her to perform a trick she was more comfortable with.
"Mom, executive call here — vetoed. I'm going to make the 16, and you're going to deal with it," Gu said she responded.
Gu's electrifying win on Monday added to her rockstar status in China, where she is a model and skier known as Gu Ailing who has become an inspiration to young female athletes.
“In terms of the purpose that I serve, it’s always been about encouraging girls, it’s always been about showing people what’s possible," she said after the competition.
She also showed her sportsmanship by comforting French skier Tess Ledeux, 20, the reigning X Games champion in the event. Ledeux was distraught after her third run when she couldn't quite nail the landing on a pair of tricks on her final two runs to finish in second behind Gu.
"I’m really grateful we’re all in this together," Gu told reporters. "We all have the same goal to push the sport and to do our personal best on that day, and also I know what it feels like (when) it doesn’t always go your way. And I understand that she still skied amazing, and I just wanted to remind her that.”
Gu initially competed for the United States during the 2018 World Cup season, but she announced a year later that she would be representing China at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
"This was an incredibly tough decision for me to make," she wrote on Instagram at the time. "I am proud of my heritage, and equally proud of my American upbringings."
"Through skiing, I hope to unite people, promote common understanding, create communication, and forge friendships between nations," she continued. "If I can help to inspire one young girl to break a boundary, my wishes will have come true."
Gu's popularity in China is immense, and she has at least 2.1 million followers on the Chinese social media platform Weibo. She also is an IMG model and has landed deals with luxury brands like Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co.
Her gold medal on Monday equaled the total amount of gold medals China won at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang. Gu also became the youngest freestyle skiing gold medalist in Olympic history at 18 years and 157 days old.
And she's not done yet. She has two more shots at gold in the women's halfpipe and slopestyle events. China has never won more than five gold medals at a Winter Olympics, and Gu is gunning to grab three in Beijing by herself.