“Although I was raised in the US I was born in the UK and my mum is British through-and-through.”
Gus Kenworthy has switched his allegiance from the United States to Great Britain for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
The freestyle skier has represented his home country since 2014 and has been awarded with one silver Olympic medal. The following year, Gus came out as gay in an interview with ESPN, becoming the first action-sports star to do so.
“I am very excited to announce that I will be competing for Team GB on the road to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing,” he wrote on Instagram. “Although I was raised in the US I was born in the UK and my mum is British through-and-through.”
Gus said his mother has been his number one fan throughout his entire career, and he wants to return the honour by “proudly holding up the British flag for her” in what he says is sure to be his “last Olympic appearance”.
Vicky Gosling of GB Snowsport said: “When renowned athlete like Gus makes himself available to compete for GB Snowsport it is really exciting, but we wanted assurances around Gus’ desire as his life outside snowsport has become much busier.
“We have met with Gus numerous times and found that we are completely on the same page. Gus understands that we have an incredibly talented squad and that means places are competitive.
“It is incredibly exciting to have him in our ranks and I think it goes to show the level that GB Snowsport has reached in a short space of time. The inclusion of Gus in our squad can only raise our level of performance and make us even more competitive.”
Gys also told NBC Sports that competing for Great Britain gives him an advantage because he will worry less about the people he’s up against, the tricks he wants to perform and “the runs” that he wants to do.
He said it will put him “in the best position to hopefully get another medal and not have to kill my body trying to qualify in multiple disciplines right before the Games against the U.S. guys”. (Read Gus’ full post below.)
Gus recently made his acting debut in the ninth season of acclaimed horror anthology series American Horror Story, 1984, as Chet Clancy, an ex-Olympian with a drug and alcohol addiction and tendency for angry outbursts.
He previously said of his decision to explore acting: “During my downtime, it was important for me to take a step back and contemplate my next move and now that is resolved I am looking forward to training for the upcoming season.”