Gus Kenworthy proves you can go home again after all.
The freeskier reflects on his history-making journey to the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in a video (above) he posted Tuesday to YouTube. Kenworthy is one of two openly gay men competing for the U.S. at the Winter Games for the first time in history. (Figure skater Adam Rippon is the other.)
That responsibility, he says, is one he now takes very seriously, even though he struggled with self-doubt before coming out in a 2015 ESPN interview after competing at his first Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, a year prior.
“It was amazing to see the support,” he says in the video, the first of three produced in partnership with Samsung. “But it was also hard because I felt like if they really knew me, if they truly knew me, maybe they wouldn’t be as supportive.”
The clip captures Kenworthy spending time with friends and family in his hometown of Telluride, Colorado, over the holidays. “I thought [coming out as gay] was going to isolate me,” he reveals. Prior to coming out, he adds, “I always thought I was going to keep inside and never tell anyone until after my ski career, and then I could have a whole new life.”
Making LGBTQ sports history, he says, poses a different kind of challenge.
“Because I did come out and I did make this big statement, I feel like I want to prove myself because of that,” he explains.