Zhu Yi gives up her U.S. citizenship, competes for China, and suffers a great fall in the 2022 Olympics


Gabriela Bhaskar/The New York Times

Samia Akter, Staff Writer

Zhu Yi, formerly known as Beverly Zhu, is a figure skater who was born in America, but lost her U.S. citizenship so she could compete in the 2022 Olympics in Beijing.

Zhu was born on September 19, 2002. She started figure skating at an early age, and has continued ever since. She competes in women’s singles, a short program. 

She had originally given up her American Citizenship in 2018, to ensure that she could compete for the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, China. Zhu faced a great amount of criticism from many different social media platforms on her decision. After her performance at the Olympic games, the criticism had grown.

Competing in the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, Zhu experienced a change of events, and took a great fall in the womens’ short program. “I’m upset and a little embarrassed,” Zhu said. The figure skater had expressed how much pressure was put onto her after being all over social media for her previous decisions with her citizenship.

Comments like, “Shame on Zhu Yi,” and, “Zhu Yi had fallen,” were all over the Chinese social media platforms. Many people were furious with her performance, and were criticizing her for being American-born, and representing Team China. One of her greatest criticisms was her inability to speak Chinese fluently. 

Zhu performed once more the following day but suffered another great fall. After Monday’s performance, she placed last and dropped China from fifth to third place. Her additional performance on the ice led to more people getting involved and verbalizing their opinions. “There were some mistakes, but it has already passed. I hope I can adjust myself and compete well,” Zhu exclaimed. She did not want the excess pressure to affect her ability to perform, and was determined to do better.

Zhu was known for the 19-year-old who gave up her U.S. citizenship, only for her to drop China’s placement. She was called a disgrace, for finishing last, after renouncing her U.S. citizenship to play for Beijing. Many more comments that depicted her fall made its way onto social media. “Zhu Yi’s consecutive mistakes,” and “Zhu Yi tears up again on the ice,” were the two most trending hashtags that were put out.

Zhu has had a rough Olympic experience. From giving up her citizenship, to competing for another country only to get extreme criticism for her performances in the womens’ short programs, Zhu Yi has really put out a name for herself, as well as her skills.