Gus Kenworthy—the top freeskier on the planet, an Olympic medalist, and a face of the X Games—just let everyone in on a very personal fact. He’s gay.
The 24-year-old athlete is at the top of his game. He’s in first place in the Association of Freeskiing Professionals’ world rankings. But in the ESPN Magazine profile in which he opens up about his sexuality, he says press interviews at competitive events made him cringe because they often asked whether he had a girlfriend.
Earlier this year at the X Games Kenworthy had to dodge questions from an inquisitive French reporter. Do you have a girlfriend? What kind of girl do you like? Do you like to french kiss? What do you think about French woman?
He’s heard the questions about girlfriends for years and they left “him nervous, feeling guilty,” and “his focus completely shot,” the ESPN profile points out. "No, no girlfriend," Kenworthy told another producer at the X Games five years ago when he was just 19 years old.
Even when he had a boyfriend who was cheering for him in the crowd, Kenworthy didn’t say much beyond the familiar phrase “no, no girlfriend.”
Thanks to YouTube, videos of Kenworthy cringing at questions about his love life live on the internet.
Earlier this year at the X Games in Aspen a reporter with the website CelebSecrets4U asked Kenworthy if he had any secrets. The reporter asked, “Do you have any secrets or hidden talents, something that the fans don’t know about you?”
Kenworthy had answered all the reporter’s questions quickly, but with this question he took a pause.
“Uh, I sing, like, all the time,” Kenworthy told the reporter.
Kenworthy competes as a freeskier in competitions that emphasize being an alternative sports game.
"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," Kenworthy told ESPN.
"But you don't, really," Kenworthy said.
No word yet from his sponsors on whether they'll continue to sponsor Kenworthy.