Eileen Gu Talks About Balancing Sports And Modeling

Instagram | Eileen Gu

Fatima Araos

It’s hard to imagine how an X Games 2021 gold medalist who’s now training for the 2022 Winter Olympics finds time for anything else, but Eileen Gu makes it look so easy. The 18-year-old freestyle skier is the definition of a multi-hyphenate as she’s also a fashion model, talented pianist, cross-country runner, and brainy student who graduated a year early, scored a near-perfect 1580 on her SATs, and got into Stanford (whew!).

For now, let’s talk about skiing and modeling. How is Gu able to balance the two? Read on.

How Skiing And Modeling Are Similar

Instagram | Eileen Gu

The athlete got into modeling after a Chinese brand invited her to Paris Fashion Week in 2019. That led to modeling jobs, including partnerships with Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co. and Victoria’s Secret as well as appearances in the Chinese versions of Vogue, Elle, Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar.

Gu looks at her sport and modeling as alike in certain ways, namely the “creative aspect, the style, being unique and different,” she told Highsnobiety. “Even though skiing and fashion manifest themselves in different ways, the core values are really similar.”

‘Perfect Balance’

Instagram | Eileen Gu

In a Q&A on Instagram Stories, the freeski star was asked how often she gets modeling assignments and she answered, “I have worked almost every single day off from skiing for the last 6 months.” Specifically, she trains during weekdays and jets off to fashion shoots in different cities during weekends. And as tiring as that sounds, she loves it!

“Fashion is so fun and creative, and it meshes really well with skiing because it creates a perfect balance so that it keeps both things interesting for me,” she said.

Super Busy

Shutterstock | 256742494

The Chinese-American was also asked, “How do you balance modeling and freestyle skiing??? Is your life just busy 24/7?”

She replied, “Yes my life is busy, but if u care about something u can always make time no matter how busy you are. It’s realistically working 8-9 hours every day with no weekends or holidays, but that still leaves plenty of time to go on runs, take online classes, see friends, read books, write op-eds (keep ur eyes peeled on some very exciting projects coming up ;)) get food, etc. It’s actually less about time and more about priorities. Everyone has the same amount of time in a day, I just try to fill mine with things that feel productive/ppl I actually care about.”

‘Things I Like’

Instagram | Eileen Gu

Another fan asked, “Besides skiing and modeling, what is the next thing you are most passionate about?” and Gu answered with a list.

“Things I Like,” she began. “[A] comprehensive and disjointed list: my friends, writing, running, my cats, physics, acting, fashion design, reading, art history. Idk man I’m just as lost as u.”

The teenage sensation credits her mother Yan Gu for exposing her to a lot of options, saying in an interview, “This isn’t a tiger mom situation. It was more that it’s an inability to fail. If I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it well, because otherwise it’s a waste of my time.”