Thursday October 22nd, 2015

U.S. Olympic freeskier Gus Kenworthy announced he is openly gay on the cover of the latest issue of ESPN The Magazine and in an interview with the Associated Press.

Kenworthy said he started coming out to friends and family two years ago. 

“Our sport needs this," Kenworthy said. “Action sports needs this. More people than you think will be supportive.”

Kenworthy won silver at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, as the United States swept the podium of the first Olympic ski slopestyle contest. Kenworthy also made headlines in Sochi as he adopted and brought home a group of five abandoned dogs.

“I never got to be proud of what I did in Sochi because I felt so horrible about what I didn't do,” Kenworthy tells ESPN. “I didn't want to come out as the silver medalist from Sochi. I wanted to come out as the best freeskier in the world.”

Kenworthy also told the Associated Press that he considered kissing his boyfriend at the end of his Olympic competition, which happened to take place in a country with strong anti-gay legislation.

“The idea of kissing my boyfriend at the bottom of my run would've been, in addition to me coming out, a silent f--- you to the anti-gay legislature in place in Russia,” Kenworthy said.

Kenworthy has also been featured on the cover of People and Us Weekly.

“I want to be the guy who comes out, wins s--- and is like, I'm taking names.” 

Read Kenworthy's full Facebook post below:

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... Posted by Gus Kenworthy on Thursday, October 22, 2015

Tiger Shaw, the CEO of U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, shared the following statement with the AP:

“We admire Gus for having the strength to tell the world who he is as a person, and paving the way for others to do the same.”

- Christopher Chavez

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.