Q&A Wednesday with Gus Kenworthy

Comments by Steve Hemphill/

A recent high school graduate, Gus Kenworthy is ready to take on whatever the world throws his way. The young gun is coming off a very successful season with a pair of 1st place finishes at the Aspen/Snowmass Open (pipe and slope), film shoots with MSP, and a second place at JOSS. Not only is Gus an accomplished skier, he is also an aspiring skater and college student.

Gus recently took some time out of his schedule to sit down with Freeskier and update us on graduating, “summer vacation”, JOSS highlights, and a flurry of other fun things.

FS: How does it feel to be graduated and done with high school?
GK: AMAZING! I was so excited to graduate. I could have graduated last year, in 2009, which was a year before I was supposed to graduate but decided to take it off and ski and instead graduated on time with my classmates. It is good to be done though!

FS: What’s on the horizon for your scholastic career?
GK: I’m not completely sure yet. School is important to me though, so I may take a few online courses through CU to keep my brain sharp and have some credit for when I want to go back, but I’m kind of just going with the flow and letting it all happen.

FS: Now that you are graduated and have “the world in your hands,” what are you going to do this summer?
GK: Right now I am in my hometown of Telluride just hanging out. In two weeks I’m headed to Mammoth to ski a little and do some business, and then I’m headed to Mount Hood with Bobby Brown.

After Hood I’ll be going to Whistler for the Team Newschoolers Session, which should be fun. From Whistler I’m going to take a few weeks off and try to do something fun and relaxing, then it’s off to New Zealand for the rest of the summer to train for next season.

FS: Wow, not exactly the typical teenage summer. Speaking of summer what is your favorite off-snow summer activity?
GK: I played in a summer softball league here at home one summer and that was a really good time. I’m also trying to pick up skating at the moment. I’m not very good but I’m working on it. I jump on trampolines a lot too.

FS: Nothing says summer like softball and skating. What were some of the highlights from this last season?
GK: I had a lot of them so it’s hard to just pick one. I would have to say my biggest highlight though was winning the Aspen/Snowmass Open pipe and slopestyle. It was cool for lots of reasons. It was my first big win, my family was there, and I was excited to lay down some solid runs on the same course that my friend Bobby [Brown] won on the week before at X Games.

Filming with Matchstick in Alaska was also great, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for sure. It was also an honor to be invited to JOSS. JOSS was amazing.

FS: What was the highlight of your JOSS experience?
GK: I remember one day in particular. We (Team NS: Matt Walker, LJ Strenio, Kevin Steen, and Duncan Lake) woke up and did a morning jib, went to the hip session, did a crazy urban mission at night, and then went to the club. The whole contest was just madness. That day sticks out to me because it encompassed what the whole contest was like in just one day.

FS: With so much success this year, do you have any plans for next season already?
GK: Nothing is really set in stone. I’d like to film more with MSP when I can and of course do the contest circuit and hopefully get invited to X Games this year. Other than that, I am just going day by day and skiing as much as I can.

Look out for Gus this summer in Mount Hood and Whistler, and be sure to check out his part in this year’s MSP movie.