Watch: Gus Kenworthy Happy to See 'More Queer Representation' at Olympics

by Emell Adolphus

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Sunday February 6, 2022
Originally published on January 20, 2022

Gus Kenworthy is happy to see "more queer representation" at the Olympic games.

In an interview with People, the freestyle Olympic skier said more out LGBTQ athletes is "just a really exciting thing for the sports world, and also for the queer community and for kids in sports watching."

Kenworthy is now partnering with Masters, a new app that "lets users train with some of the world's most accomplished athletes," including a few of his queer peers.

"In 2018, Adam Rippon and I were the first two openly gay men to compete for the U.S. in the Winter Olympics, which is crazy because it doesn't seem like that long ago. But no one had competed out at a Winter Olympics from the U.S., and the U.S. sends so many athletes," said Kenworthy. "So that was kind of shocking to me."

He adds, "And then, fast forward only just a couple years to Tokyo, there was more out LGBTQ+ athletes than at any other Games in history. And we saw transgender athletes competing and nonbinary athletes competing."

In the upcoming Beijing Olympic Games in Bejing, American figure skater Timothy LeDuc will become the first openly nonbinary athlete to compete at a Winter Games.

Representation makes a big difference, says Kenworthy.

"It gives them someone to look at and be like, 'Oh, that person is like me.' Or, 'Oh, maybe sports are for me,' because I think a lot of people are turned away from sports because it is so heteronormative," Kenworthy said. "Sometimes it just feels like you don't fit in, and people end up leaving sports because of that."

He adds, "So I think it's exciting to see more and more queer representation on the world stage. And I think it will make it easier for future athletes."

The Winter Olympics kick off Feb 3, and the Paralympics begin March 4 on NBC. Watch below to see Kenworthy talk more about LGBTQ representation in sports.