Freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy announced he will compete for Great Britain in the 2022 Winter Olympics.
The International Ski Federation approved his request to compete with GB Snowsport on Tuesday. Kenworthy expects the 2022 Winter Olympics to be his last.
Kenworthy was born in Chelmsford, England, but he moved to Colorado with his family when he was three.
View this post on Instagram
I am very excited to announce that I will be competing for Team GB on the road to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Although I was raised in the US I was born in the UK and my mum is British through-and-through. She has been my #1 fan for my entire life and has proudly stood at the bottom of the mountain waving the stars and stripes in support of me for two Olympic cycles. Now, in what is sure to be my last Olympic appearance, I’d like to return the honor by proudly holding up the British flag for her. ♥️🇬🇧
Kenworthy took to Instagram to make the announcement: “I am very excited to announce that I will be competing for Team GB on the road to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.”
He continued: “Although I was raised in the US, I was born in the UK, and my mum is British through-and-through. She has been my #1 fan for my entire life and has proudly stood at the bottom of the mountain, waving the stars and stripes in support of me for two Olympic cycles.”
“Now, in what is sure to be my last Olympic appearance, I’d like to return the honor by proudly holding up the British flag for her.”
Related | Watch Gus Kenworthy Arch His Back
His announcement inspired a tremendous response from friends, family, and fans. Actor Johnny Sibilly (Pose) replied on Kenworthy’s post, saying, “Honor them roots, baby!” Also, Matthew Morrison (Glee) posted, “Happy to see you shred it in any capacity. So much respect for you, brother!”
Kenworthy won a silver medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi while competing for the United States. In an interview with BBC Newsbeat, he disputed the notion he was switching teams because he worried about not being selected by the US team to compete in Beijing in 2022.
View this post on Instagram
“I have no doubt in my mind that I could go back for the US, but this is definitely going to be a much smoother approach for me,” he said. “This gives me a path where I’m not taking place away from one of my friends in the US.”
He told PA News agency: “I think this is going to be my last Games, kind of like my swan song, and I just wanted to do it for my mum.”
He added that after representing the US in 2014, the 2018 Winter Olympics were “less about representing the US as much as it was representing the LGBT community, and it was the first time that the US had two openly gay men competing — Adam Ripon and I were those two guys.
“I was kind of skiing for the rainbow flag.”
“This time around, I feel like it’s my last Games, and I want to do it for my Mum, so in a way, I feel like I’ve represented three different flags at three different games.”