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Gu wins gold for China as Peng watches from the stands | Winter Olympics News

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The teenage sensation took the top spot with a stunning final jump as the tennis star who made sexual assault allegations was spotted in the crowd.

China’s Eileen Gu won the first Freeski Big Air gold medal at the Winter Olympics on Tuesday as tennis star Peng Shuai was spotted watching from the stands.

California-born Gu had a good opening jump but saved her best for last when she landed four spins before grabbing the outside of her ski and landing backwards.

France’s Tess Ledeux won silver and Switzerland’s Mathilde Gremaud bronze.

As Gu set off for his final run, the crowd of several hundred at the Big Air Shougang site shouted, “Come on.”

The 18-year-old put her hands on her helmet as she landed cleanly and realized she had landed a winning jump.

In the finish area, she screamed with delight and fell to her knees as the scores rolled by, as International Olympic President Thomas Bach looked on, who was among the first to congratulate her on her gold medal during his Olympic debut.

The crowd then gave him a standing ovation.

Eileen Gu competes in the Women’s Big Air Freestyle Skiing Final. She kept her best jump until the end and won gold [Andrew P Scott/USA TODAY Sports via Reuters]

Tennis star Peng Shuai, whose wellbeing has been a source of international concern since she made a sexual assault allegation against a senior Chinese official last November, was seen among the crowd watching Gu’s victory wearing a black bobble hat with the Olympic rings and a black coat with the Chinese flag.

Bach confirmed that Peng was present at the event.

“She was sitting there and we had a chance to talk and now she has to go into quarantine, she told me, she’s going to come out of the closed loop now,” he told AFP. Reuters news agency.

Peng alleged that former Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli forced her to have sex during a years-long relationship.

The post was quickly deleted from Chinese social media and she was not seen for several weeks, leading the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and some of the world’s top female tennis players to demand more information about her comings and goings.

Tennis star Peng Shuai seen behind barriers watching the Big Air freeski event in a black cap with the Olympic rings and a black coatTennis star Peng Shuai, whose welfare remains an issue of international concern, was in the stands and spoke with IOC President Thomas Bach. [Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters]

She was later photographed by state media at various events and during a video call with Bach on November 21. The following month, in an interview with a Singapore newspaper, she denied ever making the comments.

On Monday, in an interview with the French sports daily L’Equipe, she again repeated the denial and affirmed that she had not “disappeared” from view. Peng was accompanied by Chinese Olympic Committee chief of staff Wang Kan during the interview when the three-time Olympian said she would also retire from the sport.

WTA President Steve Simon said after the interview was published that it did not allay the organization’s concerns about the player.

“As we would with any of our players around the world, we have requested a formal investigation into the allegations by the relevant authorities and an opportunity for the WTA to meet with Peng – privately – to discuss his situation,” Simon said in a statement. .

“We continue to hold our position firmly and our thoughts remain with Peng Shuai.”

As for Gu, born to an American father and a Chinese mother, she has become one of the most popular sports stars in China and supports several luxury brands. She competed for the United States through 2019.