Even though freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy is now officially retired from competitive sports, he recently revealed he wouldn't mind teaming up with another Olympic medalist -- only this time for a more important type of victory.
The 30-year-old Kenworthy told Attitude he agrees "wholeheartedly" with out Olympic diver Tom Daley's zero-tolerance policy when it comes to permitting countries that criminalize same-sex sexual relations to compete in the Olympics, and that he would welcome the opportunity to work with Daley on the issue.
"I saw him in Tokyo just after he and Matty [Lee] won the synchro event and then briefly interviewed him because I was there with NBC," Kenworthy told Attitude. "Since then, there hasn't been much overlap, but I would love to work with him."
Daley made headlines last year at the Attitude Awards when he called out countries that criminalize same-sex relations. He then pledged to make it his "mission" to prevent those countries from competing in the Olympics.
"These past Olympic Games, there were more out LGBT athletes than any of the previous Olympics combined, which is a great step forward," Daley said in his acceptance speech for the Sports Award last October. "Yet there are still 10 countries that punish being gay with death, that were allowed to compete at the Olympic Games."
Daley said the expression of one's sexual identity shouldn't be limited by where a person was born.
"And for those 10 countries where you can't be yourself, I think they should not be allowed to compete at the Olympic Games, definitely should not be allowed to host an Olympic Games," Daley continued.
Kenworthy was competing in his final Olympics last month, having earlier confirmed he would retire following their conclusion. While he had won Olympic silver for Team USA in 2014, he decided to compete in Beijing for Great Britain, the country of his birth. While he did not win a medal, he did reveal he was "happy to be walking" after a frightening crash during difficult conditions.
"Considering the conditions, I still had more that I wanted," the out Olympian admitted after the crash. "But after that bad slam, I am happy to be walking and land the run and getting through it in one piece."
In addition to fighting against countries that criminalize LGBTQ+ folks, Kenworthy said he also hoped the Olympic duo could use their visibility to help advance LGBTQ+ representation in sports.
"I would love to see other queer stories being uplifted like trans athletes and LGBTQ athletes of color," he continued. "I also think that each and every time an athlete comes out, I think that we - both the sports and LGBTQ communities - need to really uplift them."
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