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US-born figure skater who renounced her citizenship to compete for China slammed after last-place finish: 'Such a disgrace'

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Zhang Yuwei/Xinhua via Getty Images

An Olympic figure skater who was born and raised in California but who renounced her U.S. citizenship to compete for China in this year's competition is being slammed online by Chinese detractors following botched performances over the weekend.

What are the details?

Beverly Zu, 19, who changed her name to Zhu Yi to compete for the Communist country at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, first tumbled to the ice during Sunday's short program, CNN reported. She failed a jump in the opening combination and crashed into the wall, then fell again later in the program to finish with the lowest score of the event: 47.03.

Following the event, the phrase "Zhu Yi has fallen" started trending on Weibo — the Chinese equivalent of Twitter — as commenters pummeled the young athlete for her poor performance, which bumped China to a distant fifth place in the overall team competition.

Before it was censored Sunday evening, the trending hashtag had been viewed more than 200 million times.

"I'm upset and a little embarrassed," an inconsolable Zhu said after her performance, according to Reuters, her voice quivering from the nerves. "I guess I felt a lot of pressure because I know everybody in China was pretty surprised with the selection for ladies' singles and I just really wanted to show them what I was able to do, but unfortunately I didn’t."

A day later, Zhu was back on the ice for the women's free skate. But once again, she was unable to get through the performance on her skates. After landing the first two jumps, she fell to the ice on the third, a triple flip, and fell again on her very next jump, Yahoo Sports reported.

What was the reaction?

"This is such a disgrace," a comment with 11,000 upvotes said, CNN reported.

The outlet noted that some mocked her for not being able to speak fluent Chinese.

"Please let her learn Chinese first before she talks about patriotism," one critic said.

Another chimed in to say, “Zhu Yi, how ridiculous your performance is! How dare you skate for China? You cannot even hold a candle to an amateur!"

Others reportedly criticized her privileged background and family ties. Zhu's father, Zhu Songchun, is reportedly a renowned artificial intelligence scientist who, in 2020, joined Peking University in Beijing from the University of California, Los Angeles.

"Anyone would question how she was chosen to the team. Is it because she has a scientist father?" another user wrote, according to Reuters.

Zhu was raised in Los Angeles, California, from birth by Chinese immigrant parents.

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