DUBAI: American-born Chinese freestyler skier Eileen Gu this week won the World Action Sportsperson of the Year award at the 2023 Laureus World Sport Awards in Paris wearing a lilac gown by Lebanese designer Georges Hobeika.
The athlete, 19, wore a figure-hugging dress with a thigh-high slit and cut-out detailing from the designer’s Fall 2023 collection.
Gu, who was 18 when she competed during the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, became the first athlete to win three medals in freestyle skiing at a single Olympics — gold in both the halfpipe and big air events, and silver in slopestyle.
Nominees for the Laureus awards are determined by international media and the winners are voted on by the 71 members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, which includes athletes from the past 50 years.
“Honored to win Action Sportsperson of the Year at Laureus World Sports Awards tonight in Paris,” she wrote on Instagram to her 1.8 million followers. “As the first freeskier to win this prestigious award, I hope to share this moment with all those involved with the sport and the industry.
“Knowing that young people have the power and responsibility to change the world, I want more kids (especially girls and multiracial youth!) to see representation growing and know there is a place for them here,” she added. “Laureus founder Nelson Mandela once said that ‘sports have the power to unite people’… Someone’s got to lead the movement — why not us?”
At the event, Gu posed for pictures with football star Lionel Messi who won the accolade for World Sportsman of the Year and picked up another award as a member of the team of the year following Argentina’s FIFA World Cup victory in 2022.
Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce finally broke through to win the Sportswoman of the Year award on her sixth nomination.
Gu, who is also a model, attended New York’s Met Gala last week wearing a white dress with red splotches from London-based designer Robert Wun’s Spring 2023 couture collection.
She was also spotted in April at the Tiffany & Co. event in New York that celebrated the reopening of the city’s flagship store.