Eileen Gu is intensifying the anxieties of China’s “chicken parents”

After her outstanding performance at the Beijing Winter Olympics this month, 18-year-old freeskier Eileen Gu has become the definition of “the child next door,”

a metaphor Chinese parents use to describe the type of kid they dream of having.

Many Chinese parents are known for obsessively trying to raise the perfect child and doing everything possible to ensure their admission into an elite university—the equivalent of helicopter parents in the US.

The kids of such parents have been dubbed jiwa, or baby chicks, a reference to a banned 1950s Chinese treatment of injecting chicken blood to increase energy

The parents, meanwhile, are called “chicken blood parents,” or just “chicken parents.”

US-born Gu is setting a high bar for jiwa parents, and fomenting the anxiety generated by parenting in a country where opportunities for the young are starting to seem limited

She smoothly navigates being both Chinese and American, speaks fluent English and Mandarin, has an excellent academic record and admission to Stanford, is a successful model, and won two gold medals at the Games for China, where she is known as Gu Ailing

But while many have vowed to push their children harder after seeing Gu’s success, others are questioning whether their efforts are meaningful given that Gu’s path was paved not only with talent,

Eileen Gu is Intensifying The Anxieties Latest Update