In a Gay Times cover interview, Olympian Gus Kenworthy talks about being a proud gay man and a role model.

Kenworthy, 26, came out in an ESPN The Magazine cover story shortly after he won a silver medal in slopestyle skiing at the Sochi Olympics in 2014. At this year's Winter Olympics in South Korea, Kenworthy was sidelined by multiple injuries. But he said that while he was disappointed that he did not medal in Pyeongchang, being out was its own reward.

When asked about living as a proud gay man, Kenworthy answered: “Being gay isn't the only part of me, but it's the best part of me and it's one of my favorite parts of me.”

He also told Gay Times that he hopes his story will inspire others.

“A role model is someone people look up to and I try to be a positive influence for those people,” Kenworthy said. “Of course I want that. I don’t want to be a negative influence or have a negative impact on anybody’s life. If my experience as a gay man, my coming out story and me living my life out and authentically can help anybody else or inspire them, I want to do that to the best of my abilities and really try to be strong and proud and confident.”

“It’s more important than ever to have representation and visibility because it will inspire the next generation. Every out person, even if it’s in regular daily life, inspires someone else whether they know it or not and it’s especially true in sport and movies and music. In any place where people are given a platform and are in the public eye, I think it’s important for them to be out and proud,” he added.