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Photos by Peter Hapak for ESPN
Gus Kenworthy just came out in ESPN the Magazine. But he began coming out to his family and closest friends nearly two years ago. His mom said she knew. His brother said he was proud. His best friend voiced unrelenting support. And if Gus Kenworthy were an average 24-year-old, the announcement--the story--might have ended there. But Gus Kenworthy is not an average 24-year-old. He is the top freeskier on the planet, an Olympic medalist, the face of the X Games. He is an elite athlete competing in the world of action sports, where sponsors--and income--is inextricably linked to image. In other words, he is an athlete with a lot to lose. But Gus Kenworthy is ready to tell that sport, his sport, his truth. And so, as we sit down together in Los Angeles in September, he begins the only way he knows how: "I guess I should start by saying, 'I'm gay.'"