Backlash on Beverly Zhu

Backlash on Beverly Zhu

Janette Fu, Editor

Because of the events that unfolded in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, an American born figure skater who was representing China has been condemned by many, especially the Chinese internet users. 

Figure skater Beverly Zhu, also known as Zhu Yi, has received public backlash from the public due to her performance on the rink. On February 7, Zhu crashed into the wall during the women’s short program and finished last. On Weibo, a Chinese app similar to Twitter, #ZhuYiFellDown was trending, and the video of her skating became viral, with more than 200 million views. Users even called her performance “ridiculous.” Sometime late Sunday, China deleted the video and started to censor the hate comments. 

Zhu has made it clear that she renounced her American citizenship to join Team China. Because of that, some have accused her of taking a spot from Chen Hongyi, a China-born figure skater, have called her a disgrace and “to go back to America.” Others speculate that her father’s status and influence got her the spot on the team because he’s a renowned artificial intelligence expert. 

However, she’s facing more than just hate from China. People from all around the world are criticizing her and even using xenephobic remarks. One Twitter user, @CraigSi_Hi, writes, “I heard some American born skater named Beverly Zhu or Zhu Yi #ZhuYi betrayed America by giving up her [US] citizenship to join team China in the Olympics. She fell on the ground during her performance and finished dead last. Yeah, she’s China material. Made In China. LMAO

Bye!” @karenmcb57 tweets, “Karma comes home for the figure skating traitor #BeverlyZhu She fell on her ass and totally missed an element. Born in LA, trains in Cali then defects to China. She should never be allowed in the US again, EVER. Good luck being a Chinese citizen forever.  #Beijing2022 #Olympics.”

Despite all the hostility, there are those who are defending her. One Twitter user, @kimmythepooh, notes, “Among the many upsetting things in [the] comparisons between Eileen Gu and Zhu Yi is the very sad fact that we *could* be celebrating two powerful young Asian women on the world stage, but instead, they’re being placed in contention with this false idea that it’s one or the other.” Another, @mossyzinc, writes, “It’s sad that her Olympic experience is being tainted by trolls. Skating fans can send her some love and support via DMs! Let’s show her that we’re all behind her going into the individual event.”