US slopestyle skier Gus Kenworthy kissed his boyfriend, Matthew Wilkas, before a qualifying run on Sunday at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea. The quick peck was caught by NBC cameras, and broadcast all around the world to millions of viewers. "It's good that it's televised because it normalizes it more".
"Didn't realise this moment was being filmed yesterday but I'm so happy that it was", Kenworthy wrote on Twitter this morning. "And I'm happy in spite of all that", said Kenworthy, who struggled with his routines and gave a shrug after skiing down the slope at the end of his final run.
He is one of the three openly gay athletes at the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Gus Kenworthy and boyfriend Matthew Wilkas, with a rainbow stars and stripes flag, cheered Adam Rippon at the Olympic men's free skate on Saturday. "I think the only way to really change perceptions, break down homophobia and break down barriers is through representation".
"That's definitely not something I had as a kid", he continued. "I definitely did not see a gay athlete at the Olympics kissing their boyfriend", he added. "I spoke out because there are people whose lives have been affected by changes he's tried to make".
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Understandably, numerous tweets called for NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and NBA China to comment, but they were met with silence. The video was made by the Chinese media company Tencent and another version of the video without Redick was released.
Kenworthy has been an outspoken critic of United States vice president Mike Pence, sent to PyeongChang as an ambassador for the country, for his views on LGBT rights and same-sex marriage.
Apart from the thumb, Kenworthy had to have a hematoma drained from his hip two days ago and wondered whether he would even be fit for Sunday's event.
But it was a pack of journalists, myself included, that watched the competition alongside Wilkas, because the drama of a kiss is easier to appreciate than the complexity of the tricks on the rails and ramps in Goepper's medal-winning run, which had inscrutable descriptions like nose "butter 720" and "switch rightside double misty 1260 mute grab".
Despite losing out on the Olympic medal, Kenworthy wasn't phased, saying: "If you look at me right now, I'm bummed but I'm not sulking, I'm not crying".
Neverthless, Kenworthy says this year's Games have meant so much to him.