Monday, February 12, 2018

Gus Kenworthy Fields Questions About Pence And Shirtless Flagbearing At The Olympics

Gus Kenworthy
Out freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy took part in a press conference over the weekend at the Winter Games in Pyeongchang showing immense poise and confidence in answering questions about a range of topics.

On whether he would sit down to talk with Vice President Mike Pence about his anti-LGBT positions and policies:

“I think I’ve kind of made my opinion on the matter pretty clear. I don’t think that I have any inclination toward a meeting. It think that would be a much bigger distraction for me and right now, I’m just focusing on competing but I’m very excited to be here representing the US and the LGBT community. I’m very happy to meet Adam and we got to hang out at opening ceremonies and I think he’s just a tremendous guy.”

On how being out feels different at these Winter Games:

“I think I've actually always been someone that has had to compartmentalize my life because I was in the closet and I was always at fear of outing myself. And I always had so much going on in my mind that I couldn’t share it with anyone, so I actually feel, now that I’m out, I have less to compartmentalize. Although I’ve made it very clear who I am and I think I have taken a step into a sort of leadership role for the LGBT community because there isn’t a ton of representation at the Games, it’s also just me and I’m just being myself. So it’s almost easier than ever to be here and be competing and just feel free and liberated. I’m excited for Adam and all the other out athletes here. It's an amazing time to be at the Winter Games.”

In a light-hearted moment, Kenworthy was asked if he would take his shirt off, as cross-country skier Pita Taufatofua of Tonga did, if he were to be chosen as flag bearer someday:

“I actually don’t know how that Tongalese guy did that because it was freezing. We had our incredible Ralph Lauren apparel and it was heated. And it was still pretty cold. I’ve got a lot of respect for that guy going out with nothing on. Sure, I would happily do that, but I think there are more aptly suited people to carry the flag. This is Kelly Clark's fifth Olympics and there are so many people who have insane legacies, and I'm definitely proud of what I've done but I doubt I'd be flagbearer if I made it to another Games. But sure, I'll take it off if I get it.”

Watch the woofy Kenworthy below.

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