In a lot of minds, Gus Kenworthy is the world's best freeskier. He's the only competitor at the highest level who's able to punch podium results in big air, slopestyle and halfpipe, and as a result, has won the Association of Freeskiing Professionals' Men's Overall World Champion award five years in a row.
Today, Kenworthy transcended the barriers of freeskiing to become a cultural icon for diversity in sport by becoming the first athlete in action sports to come out. Posting on Instagram, he wrote: "I am gay. Wow, it feels good to write those words. For most of my life I’ve been afraid to embrace that truth about myself. Recently though, I’ve gotten to the point where the pain of holding onto the lie is greater than the fear of letting go, and I’m proud to finally be letting my guard down."
In tandem with Kenworthy's announcement on social media, ESPN released a piece on his decision to come out. In the article, Kenworthy tells Alyssa Roenigk, "Everyone drives the same type of car and listens to the same kind of music. The industry isn't the most embracing of someone who's different. I'm nervous about that."
Welcome to the rest of your life, Gus. We're proud of you, and we're stoked to see you inspire young kids both in skiing and beyond.