Two-time national ski champion Hig
Roberts has said that he was overwhelmed by the support he received
after coming out gay last month.
Roberts, who started skiing at 2, made
the comments on the latest episode of the Outsports podcast
Five Rings to Rule Them All.
The 29-year-old Roberts told host Cyd
Zeigler that he could count on one hand the number of negative
responses he's received since coming out in interviews with The
New York Times and LGBT glossy Out.
“I'm breathing again,” said
Roberts. “Life feels gentler and easier than it has in a long time.
I feel very lucky and blessed to have people supporting me and
wanting to hear more of my story and discuss this with me.”
When asked why more professional
athletes don't come out earlier in their careers, Roberts, who is no
longer competing, said it was a matter of visibility.
“I realized I was different [at a
young age] and I thought it was OK,” he
said. “But then as I started climbing the ranks I didn’t see
anyone or hear of anyone who was thinking the same way I was. And
that’s what led me into this illusion that my brain was playing a
trick on me. Because how could this be possible?”
“Ultimately, increasing visibility of
[LGBT] athletes just existing” will increase acceptance, he said.
Roberts, the first male international
alpine ski competitor to publicly come out, also said that he was
ready to come out at 23 or 24. He postponed the announcement because
of his younger brother's sudden death.
Other skiing athletes to come out
include Gus Kenworthy (slopestyle skiing), Ryan Quinn
(cross-country), and Liam Moya (alpine).