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A now-viral video shows a man seemingly trying to stop Olympic gold medalist skier Eileen Gu from leaving after they take a selfie together in Beijing.
The 18-year-old athlete, who often jogs around the city’s streets, was accompanied by her mother riding a bicycle at the time of the incident, which occurred on Chaoyang Road.
The man, who goes by Dong Bei Xing Ge on Douyin, received backlash on Chinese social media after the clip of his encounter with Gu became widely circulated online.
Social media users criticized the man and called him “rude” for not letting the athlete walk away after she took a photo with him.
The man uploaded a video to Douyin on Monday and explained that he just wanted to remind Gu “to be mindful of road safety.” He also claimed that he asked Gu’s mother for permission before he took the selfie.
“I am a loyal fan of Eileen Gu,” the man said. “I didn’t try to stop her from leaving. There happened to be a vehicle coming when she tried to cross the road. I asked her to be mindful of road safety. I definitely didn’t intend to hold her back.”
According to the man, he was excited after taking a selfie with the popular athlete. He then asked social media users to stop criticizing him about their interaction.
Gu, who won two gold medals and a silver medal at the Beijing Winter Olympics in February, is now a beloved celebrity in China. She is affectionately known to her fans as the “Snow Princess” and reportedly lets them take photos with her in public often.
Featured Image via 5-7集锦
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