Sport

Gus Kenworthy joins ‘record number’ of openly LGBT+ athletes at Winter Olympics

Maggie Baska January 23, 2022
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Gus Kenworthy wears ski gear while smiling up

Gus Kenworthy after completing a run in the Men's Ski Modified Superpipe during the Dew Tour Copper Mountain on 8 February 2020. (Getty/Tom Pennington)

Gus Kenworthy will be joining the growing number of openly LGBT+ athletes heading to Beijing for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

The out medallist will represent Team GB in the men’s freestyle halfpipe – a discipline of skiing that sees competitors perform a series of tricks while going down the pipe.

The 2022 Winter Olympics will be Kenworthy’s third Olympic appearance, but it’s his first time competing for Team GB.

Kenworthy, who was born in Essex to an English mother and American father, previously represented the US in the 2014 and 2018 games. He announced in 2019 that he would be leaving the US Olympic team to join Team GB for the Winter Olympics in Beijing.

He now joins a “record number” of openly LGBT+ athletes heading to the Beijing games, Outsports reported. The 2018 Winter Olympics featured 15 out queer athletes, and Outsports said the upcoming games will see more openly LGBT+ athletes than before.

There was a question as to whether Kenworthy would be able to compete at the 2022 Winter Olympics, which kick off in February.

Just weeks ago, Kenworthy shared in an Instagram post that he recently got a “bad concussion” while at a training camp in Switzerland.

He explained that he’s had a “few serious” traumatic brain injuries in the past so the “seriousness of each added concussion has been stressed to me”.

 

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A post shared by gus kenworthy (@guskenworthy)

After he recovered, Kenworthy suffered another setback after he tested positive for COVID-19.

“Despite being fully vaccinated I had caught a breakthrough case,” Kenworthy wrote. “I checked into a hotel and did a 10-day self-isolated quarantine until I tested negative and was cleared to fly home.”

Kenworthy said he also had “ongoing issues with my head” which left him “very light-headed, disoriented and nauseous” after he worked out or got his heart rate up.

He was “incredibly frustrated” with his ongoing health issues as the Olympics games were growing closer, but he said he was “trying to stay positive and hopeful that this will pass”.

And it seems that Kenworthy’s patience has been rewarded as he’s been given the go-ahead to compete in the Olympic games.

Gus Kenworthy also recently confirmed that he will retire after he finishes competing at the X Games, which end on Sunday (23 January), and the Beijing Olympics.

More: gus kenworthy, Winter Olympics

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