World-champion freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy revealed in an interview with ESPN that he is gay. The 2014 Olympic silver medalist became the first action sports athlete to openly come out as gay.
I am gay. pic.twitter.com/086ayvChq2
— Gus Kenworthy (@guskenworthy) October 22, 2015
The 24-year-old, revealed to ESPN that he only started coming out to family and friends two years ago but has known since he was 5 years old.
“I never got to be proud of what I did in Sochi, because I felt so horrible about what I didn’t do,” Kenworthy told ESPN. “I didn’t want to come out as the silver medalist from Sochi. I wanted to come out as the best freeskier in the world.”
Which is exactly what he accomplished. Gus Kenworthy finished the 2014-15 season as the Association of Freeski Professionals overall champion for the fifth consecutive year.
Gus Keworthy was worried about how the action sports community would react to his announcement.
“They say it’s a community of individuals and everyone is doing their own thing and it’s not a team sport, so you get to be yourself,” Kenworthy told ESPN The Magazine. “But you don’t really.
“Everyone wears a Red Bull or Monster or Rockstar cap, a T-shirt and jeans and skate shoes. Everyone drives the same type of car and listens to the same kind of music. The industry isn’t the most embracing of someone who’s different. I’m nervous about that.”
There was no need to worry though as members of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) rallied to support Gus Kenworthy’s decision to announce he was gay. Here is a statement made by USSA president Tiger Shaw:
“Today, we admire Gus for having the strength to tell the world who he is as a person, and paving the way for others to do the same.”