Sports

Gus Kenworthy Refuses to Visit White House After Olympics

Gus Kenworthy at the Team USA Media Summit
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Olympic medalist Gus Kenworthy announced that he would not visit the White House while Donald Trump is president.

The British-born American freestyle skier from Telluride, Colorado will head to PyeongChang, South Korea next year for the 2018 Winter Olympics. When he returns, Kenworthy has no intention of meeting the 45th President of the United States.

Traditionally, the President of the United States invites Team USA to the White House to congratulate them for their accomplishments.

When asked if he’d attend, Kenworthy told TIME, “I have no interest in faking support. I don’t want to go shake his hand.”

Related | Brawny Gus Kenworthy Strips for ESPN’s Body Issue

The openly gay snowboarder feels a responsibility to confront the current administration, especially following Trump’s attempt to ban transgender people from serving in the military.


“That is just a direct attack on the LGBT community,” he said. “It shows more courage to leave the house as a trans person than Trump has ever had to show.”

The 2018 Winter Olympics will be Kenworthy’s first Games as an openly gay athlete; he came out in an interview with ESPN in October 2015.

“I don’t think I could have ever come out as a gay athlete 30 years ago and expected to be successful in my sport,” said Kenworthy. “My story’s indicative of change.”

Related | Gus Kenworthy’s Beau Bares All in Spicy Selfies

Last October, Gus opened up about his first year as an out athlete, reflecting on being able to bring his boyfriend to public events.

“While competing I got to, finally, acknowledge my boyfriend standing at the bottom of the half-pipe cheering me on; something I regrettably failed to do in my previous 5-year-long closeted relationship,” he said.

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