The 18-year-old American-born freestyle skier who represents China has become the first action-sports athlete to earn three medals at the same Winter Olympics.

Gu, who has become the popular face of the Beijing Games, was in full command of the contest from the start, soaring above the pipe higher than any other skier.
Gu, who has become the popular face of the Beijing Games, was in full command of the contest from the start, soaring above the pipe higher than any other skier. (AP)

Californian-born Chinese superstar Eileen Gu has capped her hugely successful Beijing Olympics by winning freeski halfpipe gold for her third medal of the Games.

Gu became the first action-sports athlete to pick up three medals at the same Winter Games on Friday morning.

With hands on her hips, Gu visualised her first two runs at the top of the Secret Garden halfpipe course. Then, she flawlessly executed her plan. 

She warmed up with a 93.25 on her first pass before going even higher and bigger to post a 95.25 on her second.

But this was the sort of run Gu visualised all along – a nice relaxed jaunt as the last competitor and with the contest sealed.

She had fun with her victory run, too, going big off the walls one last time and bending back her skis – a high-flying, picture-perfect moment to culminate another successful day at her office.

“I feel at peace. I feel grateful. I feel proud,” Gu said.

"Skiing is all about fun and individuality and being able to express yourself and find that flow, and for myself I really find that in halfpipe,” she added.

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'Highs and lows'

It's another medal for Gu as she adds to her gold from big air and silver from slopestyle.

"She's really pushing the sport to a new level,” said British freestyler Zoe Atkin, who finished ninth.

“It's really great to see and it’s so inspiring. It makes me want to be a better skier myself. I think she’s amazing for the sport.”

Breaking down in tears afterwards, Gu told reporters her victory was the result of years of hard work where she juggled hours of daily training with her career as a model and student.

“It has been two straight weeks of the most intense highs and lows I’ve ever experienced in my life,” Gu said.

“It's changed my life forever. The second I landed the last 16 in big air I knew my life was never going to be the same.”

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies