Beating the odds against him, Gus Kenworthy will compete in his final Winter Olympics for the country of his birth.
Great Britain announced Kenworthy made the team and will compete in the freeski halfpipe discipline event in the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China. This will be the third Olympics for Kenworthy, 30, who previously won the silver medal in the slopestyle competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi when he was competing for Team USA. He is currently competing in his last X Games.
Regardless of which team he competes for, there was concern late last year that Kenworthy would not be able to make the team at all because of serious health concerns.
“Six weeks ago I got a pretty bad concussion while at a training camp in Switzerland,” Kenworthy posted to Instagram last year, noting his added concern about the injury because he has suffered from “a few serious TBI’s (traumatic brain injuries) in recent years.”
Kenworthy took off the next two weeks and “followed all of the SafeSport” to get back on the slopes. However, just a couple of days after he returned to training, he got sick with fevers and chills. He got a test and it came back positive for a breakthrough case of the virus at the center of the ongoing global pandemic.
“Despite being fully vaccinated I had caught a breakthrough case,” he said. “I checked into a hotel and did a 10-day self-isolated quarantine until I tested negative and was cleared to fly home.”
Luckily for Kenworthy (who is one of several out, LGBTQ+ athletes to qualify for this year's Winter Olympics so far) and Team Great Britain, his symptoms relented and he was able to secure a spot on the team to compete in his final Olympics. Born in Essex, England, to an American father and British mother, Kenworthy had previously competed for Team USA in past Olympics but decided in 2019 to compete instead for the country of his birth.
Kenworthy, who served as Colton Underwood’s unofficial gay guide after the former NFL player and Bachelor alum came out, also made headlines earlier this year when he posted shirtless vacation pics with a mystery man to Instagram.
“Alexa, play ‘Summer Lovin’ from the musical Greece!” he punned from the beach last year.
Kenworthy also sent eyebrows and temperatures rising when he stripped down to his underwear for an arm-wrestling match with singer/model Ken XY in an ad campaign for the cannabis-infused, social tonic drink brand Cann.
“Well hello there hi boys,” Cann captioned the clip of the pair showing off their undies and impressive sets of arms.
The 2022 Winter Olympics take place February 4-20, 2022, in Beijing, China.