Why Olympic Skier Gus Kenworthy’s Coming-Out Story Could Change Sports Forever

Twenty-four-year-old Gus Kenworthy is known for a number of things ¡ª most notably, his impressive track record as an Olympic slopestyle skier and for rescuing stray puppies while representing the USA during the 2014 Olympics. But after coming out as gay in an ESPN interview on Thursday, Kenworthy will also be recognized as one of the few professional athletes who chooses to live openly and authentically despite pressures within the sports industry.

In his emotional interview with the sports publication, Kenworthy revealed how the lack of acceptance in pro athletics (especially action sports) led him to hide the truth ¡ª and even contemplate suicide when he became depressed about keeping such a large secret. “They say it’s a community of individuals and everyone is doing their own thing and it’s not a team sport, so you get to be yourself,” the Association of Freeskiing Professionals champion told ESPN. “But you don’t really.”

After years of covering up his sexuality, Kenworthy’s decision to come out is already changing the sports world . . . in a good way. Now an openly gay athlete ¡ª and one of the best athletes in his sport, period ¡ª the skier is inspiring acceptance and openness within the world of athletics. In an Instagram post following his interview, Kenworthy wrote, “I hope to be that person [to look up to] for a younger generation, to model honesty and transparency and to show people that there’s nothing cooler than being yourself and embracing the things that make you unique.”

We hope that his openness will continue to change the athletics industry for the better and into a place where all are welcome. After all, shouldn’t sports fans be more concerned about an athlete’s performance, not who they love? In both cases, Kenworthy is doing an incredible job. “I want to be the guy who comes out, wins sh*t and is like, I’m taking names,” he told ESPN, and we can’t wait to see him do it. Check out the video below to hear Kenworthy’s insights about being a gay athlete, and read the full ESPN magazine interview when the November issue hits newsstands.

Image Source: ESPN

Why Olympic Skier Gus Kenworthy’s Coming-Out Story Could Change Sports Forever

Twenty-four-year-old Gus Kenworthy is known for a number of things ¡ª most notably| his impressive track record as an Olympic slopestyle skier and for rescuing stray puppies while representing the USA during the 2014 Olympics. But after coming out as gay in an ESPN interview on Thursday| Kenworthy will also be recognized as one of the few professional athletes who chooses to live openly and authentically despite pressures within the sports industry.

In his emotional interview with the sports publication| Kenworthy revealed how the lack of acceptance in pro athletics (especially action sports) led him to hide the truth ¡ª and even contemplate suicide when he became depressed about keeping such a large secret. “They say it’s a community of individuals and everyone is doing their own thing and it’s not a team sport| so you get to be yourself|” the Association of Freeskiing Professionals champion told ESPN. “But you don’t really.”

After years of covering up his sexuality| Kenworthy’s decision to come out is already changing the sports world . . . in a good way. Now an openly gay athlete ¡ª and one of the best athletes in his sport| period ¡ª the skier is inspiring acceptance and openness within the world of athletics. In an Instagram post following his interview| Kenworthy wrote| “I hope to be that person [to look up to] for a younger generation| to model honesty and transparency and to show people that there’s nothing cooler than being yourself and embracing the things that make you unique.”

We hope that his openness will continue to change the athletics industry for the better and into a place where all are welcome. After all| shouldn’t sports fans be more concerned about an athlete’s performance| not who they love? In both cases| Kenworthy is doing an incredible job. “I want to be the guy who comes out| wins sh*t and is like| I’m taking names|” he told ESPN| and we can’t wait to see him do it. Check out the video below to hear Kenworthy’s insights about being a gay athlete| and read the full ESPN magazine interview when the November issue hits newsstands.

Image Source: ESPN

These 12 Quotes From ESPN’s Body Issue Prove Athletes Are Just Like Us

These 12 Quotes From ESPN’s Body Issue Prove Athletes Are Just Like Us

The annual ESPN The Magazine six eye-popping magazine covers u2014 from 2015’s crop of in-the-buff athletes. Be sure to look out for the Body Issue| which hits newsstands Friday.

| Natalie Coughlin

Natalie Coughlin| swimming: “”There were a lot of girls around me growing up that suffered full-blown eating disorders| or just the body dysmorphia that every girl feels u2014 especially every girl in a swimsuit. There were times when I wasn’t happy with my body| but I always knew that I was really fit and that it was what allowed me to be successful in the pool.””

| Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper| baseball: “”Either you put crap into your body and you feel lazy all day| or you put good stuff into your system and you feel great every single day.””

| Aly Raisman

14 Women Who Prove Strong Is the New Sexy

| Amanda Bingson

Amanda Bingson| hammer throw: “”Whatever your body type is| just use it. There are definitely things that I can do that skinnier people can’t do. But then there are things that skinnier people do that I’ll never be able to do| like run a marathon. There’s just no way that will ever happen.””

| Odell Beckham| Jr.

Odell Beckham| Jr.| football: “”I have my mom’s body. She was a six-time All-American [in track]. I have her exact body structure from head to toe u2014 her wrists| arms| everything. I pretty much look like an identical twin of my mom.””

| Brittney Griner

Brittney Griner| basketball: “”I’d describe myself as athletically lanky. I want to show people that. I’m comfortable in my body and I don’t mind putting it on display. Honestly| I like how unique it is. My big arms| my bigger hands| these long legs u2014 I love being different. If everybody was the same| it’d be a boring-ass world.””

|http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/ Chantae McMillan

Chantae McMillan| heptathlon: “”I don’t look in the mirror and think ‘slim’; I look in the mirror and I’m like| ‘Whoa| beast!””

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| Ali Krieger

Ali Krieger| soccer: “”I feel like I have big thighs. My brother was always like| ‘Yeah| I want big thighs! Big thighs are awesome!’ And I’m like| ‘Yeah| for a man!’ But I’ve trained since I was 6 years old to play soccer| and this is just the type of body I have. I’m proud of my thighs because they’ve gotten me to where I am today and give me the power that I have to play my best.””

| Tyler Seguin

Tyler Seguin| hockey: “”I wasn’t a tall kid| but I’ve always had massive feet and big hands. I did feel a little clownish| especially as a kid. . . . But it was actually a good problem for hockey; I’ve always been a good skater| and I can attribute some of that to having big feet since a really young age.””

| Paige Selenski

Paige Selenski| field hockey: “”I was lucky that I was naturally gifted with an athletic body| but I also put a lot of work into it. I don’t stay home and do abs all day long; it just comes with running and all the things I do to stay in shape. I use my body every day for my job. We constantly put our bodies through pain. I’m not afraid to show that off.””

| Indianapolis Colts Offensive Linemen

Anthony Castonzo (with Jack Mewhort and Todd Herremans)| football: “”In middle school| I used to refuse to play basketball shirtless outside because I was afraid people would see me and I was not happy with my body. Then when I was in high school| I thought| ‘Oh| I’m too skinny| I need to put more muscle on.’ It’s an ongoing process. … I don’t think a perfect body is attainable.””

| Gabby Reece

Gabby Reece| volleyball (with husband Laird Hamilton| surfing): “”In college I was modeling in New York| and I worked with the most beautiful women in the world. They were so beautiful you could barely look at them. And then I would go back to my team at Florida State| and we were all trying to get as big as we could because we wanted to be as strong as possible. And they seemed more confident and happier. I thought: ‘Being perfectly beautiful u2014 or what’s defined by the standards of the world as beautiful u2014 doesn’t actually make you happier.'””