Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy said in a
new interview that he feared he would lose fans and sponsors when he
came out gay.
The 28-year-old freestyle skier came
out on the cover of ESPN Magazine following his silver medal
win at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Four years later during the Winter
Games in South Korea, Kenworthy made headlines when he kissed his
then-boyfriend Matt Wilkas after a run.
Kenworthy says he would kiss his boyfriend at Beijing 2022 Winter
Speaking with UK LGBT glossy Attitude,
Kenworthy said that he feared coming out would lead to a loss of
"In terms of skiing I had a pretty
decent sized platform before coming out,” Kenworthy said.
"I was actually scared I was going
to lose all my followers because I thought that people wouldn’t
follow me because I was gay and there wasn’t anyone else in my
sport so I was nervous it was going to have the opposite reaction
that it ended up having.”
"But yeah, I was offered a ton of
support and it was pretty incredible and I did it in a public way
because I was hoping to have an impact on other people in a similar
situation, people in sports, people in small towns, anyone who kind
of felt they couldn’t be themselves because of the environment they
were in,” he said.
“So, for like me, I was like, ’Oh I
will never have that many followers, I’m never going to have that
many sponsors, I will never make any money, this is the end of it but
at least I will be true to myself.'”
"Literally thinking that is what
it was going to be and it was just the opposite. You really sink into
those dark, scary feelings. And I’m sure that’s the same for any
closeted person playing football but it’s just not reality,”