A man shown in a viral video stopping Olympic champion Eileen Gu from leaving a crossroads in Beijing has said he just wanted to ensure her safety from busy traffic. The video footage has been widely circulated online and shows a man in a black shirt taking a selfie with Gu at a street crossing. The man is then seen stretching out his arms as if to stop her as she begins to walk away after the photo was taken. The man encountered Gu on a road in Beijing’s Chaoyang Road earlier this week when the star skiing athlete was out running, accompanied by her mother who was riding a bike alongside. He has been under fire since the video was published online, with internet users calling him “rude”, “poorly qualified” and criticising him for not letting Gu go after she let him take a selfie. On Monday, the man who uses the Douyin account Dong Bei Xing Ge, said in a video he uploaded on the platform that his intention was to remind Gu about road safety. He said he encountered Gu at the intersection and took a photo with her after being given permission by Gu’s mother. “I am a loyal fan of Eileen Gu. I didn’t try to stop her from leaving. There happened to be a vehicle coming when she tried to cross the road,” the man said in the video. “I asked her to be mindful of road safety. I definitely didn’t intend to hold her back,” he said, adding that he was excited after his photo with Gu. Eileen Gu sends support to ‘strong and beautiful people of Shanghai’ The man pleaded with the public not to attack him further. The 18-year-old Gu has become a major celebrity in mainland China after winning two gold medals and a silver at the Beijing Winter Olympics in February. She is often seen jogging on Beijing’s streets. Many people have praised her for “being down-to-earth” as she often poses for photos with fans and talks with them in public.