Augustus Richard “Gus” Kenworthy will again represent USA in the slopestyle event in the Winter Games, but this time he knows he’s got a bigger responsibility.
It’s not just winning a medal, it’s giving the country distinction the right way.
In Sochi Olympics in 2014, the 26-year-old won a silver medal but the moment was not as perfect as he remembered because back then, he was harboring a secret and it was eating him inside. Along with the freedom that coming out has afforded him comes the responsibility of representing the whole LGBT community.
“I’ve got more eyeballs on me,” he admitted. “My platform’s a lot bigger. I signed a bunch of Olympic sponsors and I have the LGBT audience watching me, and I want to do right by them.”
The pressure is one thing, but the freedom is another.
One of his regrets was not able to fulfill his dream of winning a medal after a slope run and rushing into the embrace of his long-time partner. He got one of his wishes when he won silver in Sochi. Unfortunately, they had to celebrate away from the prying eyes of the public.
Kenworthy said that he was deluding himself into thinking that he was already courageous with all his sacrifices in order to get to the peak of his potential.
“Then, I was being such a coward in this other way, where I wouldn’t let anyone know. So they were battling each other,” he said. “I’m excited where those two things can go hand in hand.”
By being true to himself, Kenworthy also found his voice. Now, he’s becoming more vocal about his opinions of what he thinks is wrong with the world. For instance, he already announced that he’s skipping a White House visit as a form of protest.
“I have no interest in going. That’s a super small form of protest, but I didn’t vote for this administration,” he said.