Olympic skier and extreme sports star comes out as gay


Gus Kenworthy (Pic: Facebook)

American freestyle skier and extreme sports hero Gus Kenworthy has told the world that he’s gay, and that he’s tired of lying about who he is.

Kenworthy, 24, won the silver medal in the Men’s Freestyle Skiing event at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

On Thursday, the British-born athlete came out in an online video and magazine cover interview with ESPN, saying: “I’ve known I was gay since I was like five years old.”

ESPN described Kenworthy as “the top freeskier on the planet, an Olympic medallist, 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.”

Kenworthy revealed that after winning the silver medal he was filled with despair and convinced that he would be rejected by sponsors and fans if he came out in his macho sports field.

“I think that the action sports world is very opinionated and that there’s a very clear line in all of those sports as to what’s cool, what’s not cool. And when something’s not cool, it’s referred to as ‘gay.'”

“I’ve been depressed, I have had anxiety, I’ve been suicidal,” he said about the strain of living in the closet.

“Hiding everything away is so painful. It’s like you’re constantly lying. You constantly feel like you’re being deceitful,” said Kenworthy. “It’s at that point that I’m kind of ready to open up and let everyone see me for me and hope that everyone accepts it.”


Gus Kenworthy (Pic: Facebook)

Kenworthy said that the upcoming X Games in January will be like a whole new event for him because he will final “get to be myself”.

He added: “Who knowns, maybe there will be people waving a rainbow flag at the bottom and I’ll just feel very much embraced and welcomed and supported.”

Writing on social media after his coming out interview went public, Kenworthy said: “I’m blown away by the amount of support I’ve gotten and I just want to say thank you, again, to you all! Your positive words mean the world to me.”

He also posted that his mom had sent him a bouquet of flowers to congratulate him.

Music superstar Miley Cyrus, who is a friend of the skier, was one of many who praised the sportsman. “He is showing all of us what it means to be courageous and PROUD of who we are! You have won so much more than any medal …. You have won FREEDOM!” she said on Instagram.

Get the Mamba Newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend