The Olympic skier gets emotional when recalling his decision to come out publicly.
Gus Kenworthy is currently competing in MTV’s special six-week series The Challenge: Champs vs. Pros, where he is one of the professional athletes taking on the previous winners of the reality show.
But as the latest episode highlights, it’s not just about putting your game face on.
Gus opens to former Challenge champion Cara Maria about his decision to come out as gay during the height of his career – and it gets very emotional.
“I just always thought my life as a skier and as a gay man couldn’t co-exist,” he explained. “The pain of holding onto this lie and the pain of being in the closet was greater than the fear of coming out.”
Gus goes on to admit his surprise over how supportive everyone was – especially his sponsors – and that it spurred him on to have one of his best competitive years after that.
“I just hope that my story can be a beacon of light for other people that are in the closet and just let people know that the best way you can live is authentically and genuinely and everyone deserves to be happy,” he added.
Gus opened up about his first year as an out athlete last October, reflecting on being able to have his boyfriend as his actual boyfriend at events.
“While competing I got to, finally, acknowledge my boyfriend standing at the bottom of the half-pipe cheering me on; something I regrettably failed to do in my previous 5-year-long closeted relationship,” he said.
Meanwhile, Gus recently teamed up with MeUndies to model their new Pride underwear, with $1 for every pair sold going to the Los Angeles LGBT Center.