Gus Kenworthy Britain Russia Usa China Beijing lgbtq information Gus Kenworthy Britain Russia Usa China Beijing

Gus Kenworthy proud to be among LGBT athletes competing at Beijing Olympics

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www.japantimes.co.jp

ZHANGJIAKOU, China – When Gus Kenworthy competed at the Sochi Olympics in 2014, he was afraid someone would find out that he is gay.Fast-forward eight years and Kenworthy is out and proud, as are dozens of other athletes at the Beijing Games.

The British-American freestyle skier, who won silver for the United States at the Sochi Games in the slopestyle competition, famously kissed his boyfriend Matt Wilkas live on television before his qualifying run four years later at the Pyeongchang Olympics.“It was really tough being in Sochi actually,” the 30-year-old Kenworthy said.“We had all sorts of media training ahead of the Games because there was anti-LGBT legislation in place and they said that no athletes, no press, no diplomats, would be exempt from the laws in Russia.“Although I was in the closet and I wasn’t even out, I just felt very not welcomed there, and I didn’t feel like I could be my true self, and I think I had hopes in the back of my mind to maybe speak my truth at the Games in spite of that legislation, and I didn’t.“Ultimately that Games was kind of the catalyst for me to start thinking about coming out, and kind of put the gears in motion for me to make that announcement and do that,” he added.Sports website OutSports estimates there are more than 30 LGBT+ athletes competing at the Beijing Games.Kenworthy, born in Chelmsford, England, is in Beijing competing for Britain following a switch in allegiance.“Honestly, it means the world to me to get to compete here as an out, proud gay man and to know that there are other out LGBTQ athletes that are here competing,” he said.Kenworthy never thought he would see the day when he would be on the world stage as an out gay man and hopes it will reach the stage where.

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