Even if you aren’t familiar with men’s skiing, there is a good chance you know who Gus Kenworthy is. Back in 2014, Kenworthy became a superstar at the Sochi Winter Olympics. Sure, he took home the silver medal for men’s slopestyle for Team USA, but he also rescued FIVE stray dogs-one mom and four puppies-from the streets of Sochi. Not only did he give these dogs loving homes, but he also shed light on Sochi’s major stray dog problem. After the 2014 Olympics, Kenworthy fell off our radar for a bit but how he’s back for the 2018 games in PyeongChang and better than ever.
Kenworthy’s return comes just over two years after he publicly came out on the cover of ESPN Magazine. In a later interview with Attitude Magazine, Kenworthy explained why he chose to come out how he did. “I wanted to do it in my words and once and for all – and hopefully help kids that are in the same position I was.” Kenworthy also said in this interview that he felt a lot of pressure being closeted during the 2014 Olympics. He wanted to come out as a “big eff you” to the laws being enforced in Russia, but knew he wasn’t ready. Kenworthy is the first action-sports star to come out.
Today when Kenworthy isn’t training hard to be an Olympian or being an amazing father to his fur-babies, he isn’t afraid to speak his mind and be an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. Despite breaking his thumb a few days before his event, Kenworthy remained optimistic and even found a silver lining. Since he’s in a cast he’ll be able to give everyone a thumbs-up and he will not be able to shake hands with Vice President Mike Pence, who is known for his anti-LGBTQ+ beliefs and supporting conversion therapy.
Kenworthy might have not brought home any medals this year, but he is still number one in our hearts.