Gus Kenworthy came out as gay on Thursday, and the support from the skiing and snowboarding community was immediate.
“Gus is one of the best skiers in the world,” U.S. Olympic ski slopestyle champion Joss Christensen said, according to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA). “He’s also one of my best friends and a great teammate. I’m just happy for Gus that he can be who he is. It’s a brave and strong thing for him to do, and this gives me so much respect for him.”
Christensen and Kenworthy shared the Sochi podium in the third U.S. Winter Olympic medals sweep.
“This is going to make his life a lot easier,” 2010 Winter X Games ski slopestyle champion Bobby Brown said, according to USSA. “It’s got to be tough holding on to something like this for a long time, and I know it’s been a big weight on his shoulders. So, it’s going to be cool for him to be his true self and for everyone to know him at the core. It’s going to take a lot of weight off his shoulders, and he’s going to be a lot happier in life and in skiing.
“I think it’s going to be received in a positive light, and that there will be an outpouring of support in our community and at the end of the day people are going to focus on Gus Kenworthy being one of the best skiers in the world.”
Here are reactions from the social media accounts of Olympic snowboard slopestyle champion Sage Kotsenburg, 2013 World ski slopestyle champion Tom Wallisch, U.S. Ski and Snowboard vice president Luke Bodensteiner and 2013 World ski slopestyle bronze medalist Grete Eliassen.