Gus Kenworthy announces he is gay

Gus Kenworthy announces he is gay

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In February of 2014, in Sochi, Russia, the now 24-year-old Gus Kenworthy skied his way to a silver medal on the world’s greatest stage. Part of the inaugural U.S. Olympic slopestyle team, Gus did the Red, White and Blue proud earning a 93.60; the Telluride, CO-native was joined by two of his countrymen—Joss Christensen and Nick Goepper—on the podium, marking a United States sweep of the first-ever Olympic ski slopestyle contest. Subsequently, Gus enjoyed a great deal of media exposure. The spotlight continued to shine on Gus as he announced, and ultimately executed a plan to adopt a family of stray dogs, discovered on-site in Sochi. In the blink of an eye, Gus went from a household name in the world of skiing to household name in the realm of Olympic and pop-culture enthusiasts—i.e. he blew the f#ck up.

Photo by Henrik Lampert

Gus Kenworthy post win at the U.S. Grand Prix at Park City, UT, March, 2015.

While the world adores Gus for his Olympic achievement, his continued support of the “Sochi pups” and his commitment to supporting the International Humane Society, the skiing community maintains tremendous respect for Gus’ well-rounded skiing skill and his consistent appearances on the sport’s most prestigious podiums. In a day and age where many competitive freeskiers are hyper-focused on one of the various disciplines—slopestyle, halfpipe and big air—Gus competes and succeeds across all three, an endeavor which he himself has referred to simply as “exhausting.”

The man has arguably the largest following of any freeskier on Earth; he’s highly active on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter. And today, Gus’ reach takes another tremendous leap.

Via social media this morning, Gus has announced he is gay. Gus becomes the first World-Champion-caliber action-sport athlete to make such a declaration. ESPN simultaneously released an exclusive interview with Gus.

“Gus Kenworthy started coming out to his family and closest friends nearly two years ago,” writes Alyssa Roenigk. “His mom said she knew. His brother said he was proud. His best friend 
voiced unrelenting support. And if Gus Kenworthy were an average 24-year-old, the announcement — the story — might have ended there. But Gus Kenworthy is not an average 24-year-old. He is the top freeskier on the planet, an Olympic medalist, a face of the X Games. He is an elite athlete competing in the world of action sports, where sponsors — and income — are inextricably linked to image. In other words, he is an athlete with a lot to lose. But Gus Kenworthy is ready to tell that world, his sport, his truth. And so, as we sit down together in Los Angeles in September, he begins the only way he knows how: ‘I guess I should start by saying, I’m gay.'”

The interview can be read in its entirety, here.

We’ll certainly look to catch up with Gus ASAP. For now, on behalf of the gang here at FREESKIER, I wish to extend congratulations to Gus on this momentous day. We’re proud of you, bud. LGBT sportspeople certainly have a wonderful opportunity to inspire positive change and to battle intolerance; we look forward to seeing how Gus utilizes his influence in this regard in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.

Gus Kenworthy – Recent Highlights

– Five-time defending AFP World Champion, 2011-present
– 1st Place, Air + Style big air, 2015
– 1st Place, U.S. Grand Prix halfpipe, Park City, UT, 2015
– 3rd Place, U.S. Grand Prix slopestyle, Park City, UT, 2015
– 2nd Place, SFR Freestyle Tour slopestyle, France, 2015
– 3rd Place, U.S. Grand Prix halfpipe, Mammoth, CA, 2015
– 2nd Place, Winter Olympic Games slopestyle, 2014
– 1st Place, Dew Tour slopestyle, 2014
– 1st Place, Dumont Cup slopestyle, 2014
– 2nd Place, U.S. Grand Prix slopestyle #2, Park City, UT, 2014
– 3rd Place, U.S. Grand Prix slopestyle #1, Park City, UT, 2014
– 3rd Place, U.S. Grand Prix halfpipe #2, Park City, UT, 2014

Gus Kenworthy – Video Highlights

Gus Kenworthy skis inspired, Winter X Games
Watch: Kenworthy’s winning halfpipe run, U.S. Grand Prix, 2015
X Games Aspen 2015 – Under the Covers with Gus Kenworthy
Gus Kenworthy on his silver medal performance in Sochi

Gus Kenworthy on Instagram

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 proud to finally be letting my guard down. My sexuality has been something I’ve struggled to come to terms with. I’ve known I was gay since I was a kid but growing up in a town of 2,000 people, a class of 48 kids and then turning pro as an athlete when I was 16, it just wasn’t something I wanted to accept. I pushed my feelings away in the hopes that it was a passing phase but the thought of being found out kept me up at night. I constantly felt anxious, depressed and even suicidal. Looking back, it’s crazy to see how far I’ve come. For most of my life I’ve dreaded the day that people would find out I was gay. Now, I couldn’t be more excited to tell you all the truth. Whether you've suspected it all along or it's a complete shock, it’s important for me to be open and honest with you all. Y’all have supported me through a lot of my highs and lows and I hope you'll stay by my side as I make this transformation into the genuine me – the me that I’ve always really been. I am so thankful to @ESPN for giving me this opportunity and to Alyssa Roenigk for telling my story to the world. I think about the pain I put myself through by closeting myself for so long and it breaks my heart. If only I knew then what I know now: that the people who love you, who really care about you, will be by your side no matter what; and, that those who aren’t accepting of you are not the people you want or need in your life anyway. Part of the reason I had such a difficult time as a kid was that I didn’t know anyone in my position and didn’t have someone to look up to, who’s footsteps I could follow in. I hope to be that person for a younger generation, to model honesty and transparency and to show people that there’s nothing cooler than being yourself and embracing the things that make you unique. Click the link in my bio to read the full story and keep your eyes peeled for the Nov issue on newsstands soon!

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In the middle of our elaborate best friends only handshake.

A photo posted by gus kenworthy (@guskenworthy) on

Driving to the beach with @robindmacdonald and @thesochipups!

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Always fun times with this girl.

A photo posted by gus kenworthy (@guskenworthy) on

Is this real life?! #Olympics #openingceremony #TeamUSA

A photo posted by gus kenworthy (@guskenworthy) on

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