Olympic gold medalist Alex Hall ‘glad’ he competed for US: ‘I wouldn’t change it for a thing’ – Fox News

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American skier Alex Hall admitted Wednesday he talked with his coach about the possibility of skiing for Italy at the Winter Olympics because he also holds Italian citizenship.

Hall, who won gold in slopestyle, spoke about why skating for another country wasn’t going to happen for him.

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The United States' Alexander Hall competes during the men's slopestyle qualification at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China.

The United States’ Alexander Hall competes during the men’s slopestyle qualification at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

“I think I pretty quickly realized that I wanted to ski for the U.S. That’s where I live nowadays, so it feels right to do it for the U.S.,” Hall said. “I know so many people around the U.S. (and) I have so many great friends and family that it just felt like the right decision. The group of friends I get to hang out with on a daily basis from the team is really, really special.

“I wouldn’t change it for a thing. I’m glad I stuck with the U.S. and competed for them ever since.”

Hall used some unique jumps to secure the gold over his American teammate Nick Goepper.

“I was stoked. I wanted to come out here and show the world what I do as a skier, and show the creativity, and thinking outside the box,” said Hall, who was born in Alaska and grew up in Switzerland.

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Gold medal winner Alexander Hall of the United States celebrates during the venue award ceremony for the men's slopestyle at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China.

Gold medal winner Alexander Hall of the United States celebrates during the venue award ceremony for the men’s slopestyle at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

The question over which country he would represent comes as Ellen Gu won three medals in skiing over the last two weeks.

Gu had been under the microscope for deciding to compete for China over the U.S. Born to a Chinese mother, Gu estimates she’s spent at least a quarter of her life in China. Her origin story, as she tells it, begins with the time she pitched the idea for China’s first slopestyle ski event at age 9 — and won.

Since choosing to side with China in 2019, she has said repeatedly that her goal is to encourage girls and women to take up winter sports — aligning with China’s pledge to inspire 300 million to hit the ice or snow.

On Thursday, she told reporters she wasn’t trying to solve the world’s problems.

“I’m not trying to solve political problems right now,” she said. “And I’m aware that I’m not able to do everything I want to do in this exact moment.”

Silver medal winner China's Eileen Gu celebrates during the venue award ceremony for the women's slopestyle finals at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China. 

Silver medal winner China’s Eileen Gu celebrates during the venue award ceremony for the women’s slopestyle finals at the 2022 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022, in Zhangjiakou, China.  (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

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“My biggest goal is for some girl to be sitting at home watching freeskiing for the first time and thinking, ‘Maybe that could be me some day.’ Maybe she sees someone who looks like her doing it and thinks, ‘Hey, I can do that, too.’”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.