http://player.espn.com/player.js?playerBrandingId=4ef8000cbaf34c1687a7d9a26fe0e89e&adSetCode=91cDU6NuXTGKz3OdjOxFdAgJVtQcKJnI&pcode=1kNG061cgaoolOncv54OAO1ceO-I&width=576&height=324&externalId=espn:13945624&thruParam_espn-ui=false&thruParam_espn-ui=trueU.S. Olympic freeskier Gus Kenworthy has accomplished a lot in his 24 years – he won bronze at the 2013 X Games, he won silver at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and he won our hearts when he adopted several Sochi stray dogs – and now he’s celebrating an even more personal victory.
That’s because the superstar skier just came out as gay in an ESPN the Magazine interview published Thursday – and he’s never been happier.
“Hiding everything away is so painful,” he said in a video posted on the ESPN website. “You’re constantly lying and constantly feeling like you’re being deceitful. I’m just at that point where I’m ready to open up and let everyone see me for me and I hope everyone accepts it.”
Kenworthy, who came out to his family and closest friends to “unrelenting support” nearly two years ago, told ESPN The Magazine for its “Being Out” issue, on newsstands Oct. 30, that he feared the skiing community wouldn’t be as accepting.
“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 – but you don’t really,” he said.
“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.”
But it seems he doesn’t have to be. The U.S. Olympic Team, the U.S. Freeskiing Team and plenty of fans and fellow skiers have all taken to Twitter to show their support for Kenworthy.
Kenworthy himself also took to Twitter to retweet many of the supportive messages and to proudly say: