Gus Kenworthy may have missed out on winning a medal at this year’s Winter Olympics, but he made history in other ways.
The Team USA skier was caught on camera kissing his boyfriend, giving viewers a much-needed dose of LGBTQ representation at one of the world’s biggest sporting events.
While many celebrated the moment, there were others who took issue with a loving couple showing affection on television just because they are of the same sex.
“My entire life, in movies and commercials, in public… you see straight, heterosexual love, and that’s completely fine because it’s ‘normal’,” Gus said during his appearance on the Today show.
“Us also showing the same type of affection isn’t shoving it in your face. It’s just us existing.”
Well said, Gus.
However, the skier revealed that fellow openly gay Team USA athlete Adam Rippon also took issue, but for a very different reason.
“He was mostly jealous,” he joked.
My Seoul mate! He’s a little late for Valentine’s Day but he made it just in time to see me compete tomorrow (tonight for you guys in the states)! Feeling very lucky to have him, my family, my agent and some amazing friends here in Korea cheering me on. The past few days of practice have been pretty tough (I broke my thumb two days ago and yesterday got a massive hematoma on my hip that needed to be drained), but despite it all I’m still so excited to go out there and give it my all. Win or lose I’m gonna be walking away with my head held high! Thank you all for your words of encouragement and support, I wouldn’t be here without you! #TeamUSA ????????????️????
A post shared by gus kenworthy (@guskenworthy) on
Previously speaking to the Guardian about the reaction to his kiss live on TV, he added: “I didn’t even know that that was a televised moment at all, but I think that’s amazing.
“That’s something that I wanted at the last Olympics was to share a kiss with my boyfriend at the bottom and it was something that I was too scared to do for myself.
“And so to be able to do that, to give him a kiss, to have that affection broadcasted for the world is incredible.
“I think that the only way to really change perceptions, break down homophobia, break down barriers is through representation. That’s definitely not something I had as a kid.
“I definitely didn’t see a gay athlete at the Olympics kissing their boyfriend and I think that if I had it would have made it a lot easier for me, so hopefully it did that for other people.”
Earlier this week, Gus epically shut down a homophobic troll on Twitter with just three words.
This Winter Olympics was the first where Gus competed as an openly gay athlete after he came out in an interview with ESPN in October 2015.
The competition – which is currently taking place in PyeongChang in South Korea – will finish on 25 February.
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