Bigs news incoming. Winner of Olympic Slopestyle silver in 2014, freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy has announced he’s switching allegiance from Team USA to Great Britain. He has competed for the US at two previous Winter Olympics (Sochi 2014, and PyeongChang 2018). He is also an eight-time World Champion, with five X-Game medals to his name.
The 28-year-old, who was born in Chelmsford, Essex, but brought up in Colorado, has a British-born mother and holds a British passport. “I think for sure 2022 is my final Olympic Games and I decided I wanted to do it for my mum,” Gus told the BBC.
“2022 is my final Olympic Games and I decided I wanted to do it for my mum”
Vicky Gosling, the chief executive officer of governing body GB Snowsport, said “It’s incredibly exciting to have him in our ranks and I think it goes to show the level that GB Snowsport has reached in a short space of time.
“The inclusion of Gus in our squad can only raise our level of performance and make us even more competitive.”
Gus lives in Los Angeles and will continue to be based there, while he travels to and from practise and competitions. He’s recently taken some time off to act in American Horror Story, playing a character called Chet Clancy, but will be back on the training this winter. Earlier this year, he also guest starred on RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Coming out after the 2014 Winter Olympics, Kenworthy has gone on to become an advocate for LGBTQ rights.
In 2018, he took a pop at American Vice-President Mike Pence. Next to a photo of himself alongside gay figure skater Adam Rippon, he wrote “I feel incredibly honored to be here in Korea competing for the US and I’m so proud to be representing the LGBTQ community alongside this amazing guy. Eat your heart out Pence!”
Discussing his switch from Team USA to Team GB, Gus told the BBC “This third time around I feel it’s going to be a totally different approach to the Games for me… I’m not going to have to fight tooth and nail for a spot against my friends in the US, I’m going to have a much more straight shot at going to the Games and I’ll get to compete again for the LGBT community but this time for GB.”
Here at Mpora, we’re delighted to see Gus join the ranks of GB Snowsport. After some incredible performances from the Brits at PyeongChang 2018, see snowboarder Billy Morgan’s iconic bronze medal in Big Air and Woodsy’s near-miss in arguably the most spectacular ski Slopestyle final in history, it’s hard not to get excited by the addition of another world class athlete to the mix.
Welcome aboard Gus. Go well.