Gus Kenworthy said good-bye to the Winter Olympics in class-act fashion.
The openly gay skier took to social media to post a really wonderful message as he puts his Olympic competition career in the rearview mirror.
“Being here now, out and proud and living my life authentically, I’m walking away more fulfilled without a medal than I did at the last Games with one,” he wrote. You can find his entire statement on Twitter.
Kenworthy won a medal in Men’s Ski Slopestyle at the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.
It’s been apparent the entire Olympic Games how much being part of the LGBTQ community means to Kenworthy. He has waved a rainbow flag whenever possible, supported fellow gay Olympian Adam Rippon, taken a certain anti-LGBTQ politician to task, and kissed his boyfriend on national TV.
Of course it’s complete idiocy. Kenworthy has kissed his boyfriend a thousand times. While we, sitting in our living rooms in the United States, were beautifully distracted by it, for Kenworthy it was a run-of-the-mill kiss.
Instead, Kenworthy showed incredible fortitude — the fortitude of LGBTQ people — in competing with a broken thumb and a hematoma. That’s dedication and determination.
Besides, he finished seventh in the qualifiers after the kiss, so it didn’t exactly torpedo his chances.
Kenworthy’s odds of making it back to an Olympic Games aren’t good. At 26, Kenworthy was already one of the two oldest competitors in the finals. He isn’t getting back here at 30. Retirement is in his sights.
What will he do next? When Outsports caught up with him in 2016, we asked him that very question.
“I like acting. It’s what I want to try to get into after skiing,” he told Outsports. “I’ve done a lot of interviews and stuff on TV, so I’m not really nervous in front of the camera.”
Kenworthy’s visibility has meant so very much to youth in the community across the country and around the world. Whatever he does, we know Kenworthy will have the full support of the LGBTQ community at his back.