Gus Kenworthy, the freestyle skier who took silver at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, has come out as gay in an interview with ESPN, opening his interview by stating: “I guess I should start by saying, ‘I’m gay.'”
In a Facebook post the day of the article’s release, Kenworthy wrote: “I am gay. Wow, it feels good to write those words. For most of my life, I’ve been afraid to embrace that truth about myself. Recently though, I’ve gotten to the point where the pain of holding onto the lie is greater than the fear of letting go, and I’m very proud to finally be letting my guard down.”
The 24-year-old opened up about his medal-winning performance, telling ESPN that he didn’t get “to be proud of what I did in Sochi because I felt so horrible about what I didn’t do. I didn’t want to come out as the silver medallist from Sochi. I wanted to come out as the best freeskier in the world.”
However, it was concealing his sexuality from reporters that proved the greatest stress during his time in Russia — and something that his dogged him during encounters with reporters at other competitive events.
“Part of [the stress] is the fact that I’ve never had a TV boyfriend,” he said. “That’s actually something I want so bad — a TV boyfriend.”
It was further compounded by the testosterone-driven aspect of the sport. Kenworthy notes the “alpha male thing about pulling the hottest chicks” pressured him into sleeping with women in order to conceal his sexuality.
“I know hooking up with hot girls doesn’t sound like the worst thing in the world,” he said. “But I literally would sleep with a girl and then cry about it afterward. I’m like, ‘What am I doing? I don’t know what I’m doing.'”
Now? Kenworthy is more focused than ever on being the best he can be. Despite vowing to quit professional skiing after failing to place at the X Games in January. He went on to finish the season as the number one ranked skier for the fifth year in a row.
In his own words, the newly out Kenworthy wants to be “the guy who comes out, wins s— and is like, I’m taking names.”
Read the full interview at ESPN.
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