Inspirational Gu and Dupont make their voices heard in Spirit of Sport
The next episode of the Laureus-presented show Spirit of Sportturns the spotlight on some incredible female athletes who want to win – and change the world at the same time.
Exceptional women are at the heart of episode two of the new series of Spirit of Sport – from snowsport legend Eileen Gu to big wave surfer Justine Dupont and triathlete Beth Potter.
Gu, the snow princess of freestyle skiing, takes Spirit of Sport on an emotional journey through the last 18 months of her life. The 20-year-old opens up about her incredible experience at the Winter Olympics in Beijing last year – and her mission to lead change in the world through the power of sport.
“The 1620 was a special moment – I had never done it before and actually never even trained it before,” said Gu, who has inspired an explosion in winter sports popularity in China.
“To have all the pressure in the world, my first Olympic event, my first Olympic final, my last run, my one opportunity – I decided to do this trick that I had never attempted before.
“With millions of people watching, it was time to practice what I preach and not be afraid to try. Being the first woman in history to land it… to be the first big air women’s winner ever, was icing on the cake. It was all about the message I was hoping to send out.”
Gu’s message reached an even wider audience during her winner’s speech at the 2023 Laureus World Sports Awards in Paris.
She said: “This [the Laureus] is a symbol of all the hard work, the beauty, the tears and the pain but also the joy that goes into everything sports are. I want to dedicate the Award to all the young people out there because someone has to lead change in this world – why not us?”
In an exclusive interview for Spirit of Sport, big wave surfer Dupont – a Nominee for Laureus World Action Sportsperson of the Year 2023 – opens up about her holistic approach to surfing.
“In surfing you have awards and titles, but the price is the wave. When you are on those big waves it’s the sensation of speed, noise, being 100% alive and in connection with nature.”
Dupont – who will be commentating when surfing returns to the Olympics in 2024 – is also passionate about environmental issues.
“With surfing, you can see the quality of the water changing. And I can see the plastic on the beach after it rains. There is so much to do, but we can all do a little. When you respect nature, it will respect you back.”
Spirit of Sport is also there to witness the dramatic climax to the World Triathlon Championships series in Pontevedra, Spain, where Britain’s Beth Potter clinched victory.
Finally, as the Cricket World Cup begins in India, Laureus Ambassador and legendary all-rounder Yuvraj Singh names his top ten Indian cricketers of all time; and Superbowl champion Clyde Edwards-Helaire visits the Laureus-supported programme HR Sports Academy in London.