Out freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy on Saturday received the Human Rights Campaign's (HRC) Visibility Award at its 13th annual Utah Gala in Salt Lake City.

Kenworthy came out in a 2015 ESPN cover interview.

In accepting his award, the 25-year-old Kenworthy said that he had been hiding his sexuality since he was seven.

“I remember visiting a hot springs with my family when I was about seven years old,” Kenworthy said. “There was a lifeguard on duty there, who was like nothing I had ever seen. One of my action figures come to life. He was muscular and tan, and he oozed confidence in his red swim trunks. I noticed. And instinctively, I knew that my noticing was something I couldn't tell anyone.”

“And that secret was the beginning of my life in the closet.”

“Fast forward almost 20 odd years from that first realization in the pool, and here I am, accepting an award for my visibility as an out and proud gay man. And isn't that ironic?” he said.

Kenworthy added that he expected to lose everything from coming out and had not considered what he could gain.

“Looking back it almost makes me laugh. I thought I was going to lose everything, and what I never expected was everything that I was about to gain. I took a leap of faith into the deep end of the pool, and you, the LGBTQ community, you guys were that hot ass lifeguard in the red swimsuit. You didn't let me drown,” Kenworthy said.