American skier Kenworthy comes out as gay

Silver medalist Gus Kenworthy of the U.S. celebrates during the medal ceremony of the men's freestyle skiing slopestyle finals at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, February 13, 2014. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

(Reuters) – U.S. Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy, who won a silver medal at last year’s Sochi Olympics, came out as gay in a cover story for ESPN The Magazine published on Thursday, making him the first openly gay action sports athlete.

The 24-year-old top-ranked freeskier in the world said he knew he was gay since he was 5 and that family and friends were supportive when he told them two years ago, according to the article which will hit newsstands on Oct. 30.

Kenworthy, who was part of an American podium sweep in the inaugural slopestyle event at the Olympics and a regular in the Winter X Games, took to Twitter on Thursday to thank those who have supported his decision to come out.

“Just watched my story air on @EPSN @SportsCenter,” Kenworthy tweeted, “and I’m all choked up. Tears of joy! Thanks for your support :)”

The profile on Kenworthy is part of ESPN The Magazine’s “Being Out Issue,” which will also feature American football player Megan Rapinoe, American triathlete Chris Mosier and college basketball player Derrick Gordon.

(Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue)


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