Metro Weekly

Gus Kenworthy becomes second openly gay athlete on U.S. Winter Olympics team

Skier will return to the Olympic stage, but this time as a gay athlete

Gus Kenworthy — Photo: Twitter


–Freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, in a tweet after he officially qualified for a spot on the U.S. Winter Olympics team on Sunday.

Kenworthy became the second openly gay American to qualify for the Winter Olympics, joining figure skater Adam Rippon. (Kenworthy won a silver medal at the 2014 Olympics, but hadn’t publicly came out at the time.)

Kenworthy joins the U.S. team after placing second at a freeski slopestyle Olympic qualifier in Mammoth Mountain, Calif, NBC reports.

Before this year, no openly gay men had ever competed in the Winter Olympics. Kenworthy brings the total competing in Pyeongchang, South Korea to three, joining American figure skater Adam Rippon and Canadian pairs skater Eric Radford.

Kenworthy came out in 2015 in an interview with ESPN, saying he had been “embrace that truth about myself,” but had “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.”

In 2016, he revealed that a Russian hotel had discriminated against him and a former boyfriend during training for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

“I had been in Russia the year before for the test event with my boyfriend and they wouldn’t let us check into the hotel room,” he told Attitude. “They were like, ‘Two guys can’t be in the same bed.’”

Watch Kenworthy’s qualifying run below:

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