Photographer: John Russo
Wardrobe Stylist: Justin Lynn
Producer: Justin Miller
Photo Assistant: Jason Bush
Photo Assistant: Jackie Brutchey
MM: The last few years have been about visibility and authenticity, what is the theme for Gus Kenworthy in 2018?
GK: Expectation. Everyone was watching the Olympics and their were people who thought I would do well. I thought I could do well, but I wasn’t a medal favorite. I was more of a dark horse. I got my medal and I did well the rest of that season then I came out. I’ve had a lot of successful seasons since the last games. I think having the medal from the last games and a bunch of contest results along with the exposure of coming out has brought more tv coverage. There are definately more eye balls on me. Coming into the next games I signed a bunch of endorsements with Olympic sponsors, which puts more pressure on me. There’s expectation in every interview talking about these games.
MM: How are you able to be so free? Is that tied to coming out or just your personality?
GK: I think it is kind of the nature of my personality, but I always masked it a little bit and hid it a little bit because I didn’t want to out myself. Since I have come out it has been so liberating to be myself and not really care. It has been fun to put it out there.
MM: Freestyle skiing is a pretty extreme sport, what is your training like as an Olympian?
GK: Training in the gym isn’t completely necessary. I go to the gym 6 days a week but their are a lot of guys in the sport that hardly go to the gym at all and are also successfull. Ya know our sport isn’t about strength or endurance it is about technique and execution. It’s almost more like dance and it’s about the amount of time you put into practice. I think when your body is running well your gonna ski better and so I do stuff to keep my body in top shape to recover from injuries and to prevent injuries. Box jumps are really good for the sport becasue you get explosive leg power and that’s something you use on take-offs on jumps.
MM: Tell us about your diet when you are training?
GK: There is no endurance aspect to the sport but it is a serious sport, you are pushing your body in what it is capable of doing, but not gassing it out. The year after the 2014 Olympics I blew my knee out, broke my femur, and tore some ligaments so I was in the gym everyday for recovery and fell in love with it. In terms of my diet I do it more as a person who wants to be fit, but the focus isn’t around how it effects my skiing really.
MM: How do you balance the fun and focus of being an athlete and person?
GK: There is a quite calm place I have to get to, I’ll focus on my breathing and I will visualize my run. I close my eyes and think about it. I think my personality is goofy and silly and high energy; but I have moments that are polar opposite of that. It’s an action sport its dangerous and I’ve been hurt a lot of times and most people have. Injury is part of the sport. I think you have to have a lot of respect for the sport and we do everything to cut the risks, but you do have to kinda of take it seriously.
MM: The world has expectations for Gus, but what are your personal goals at these Olympics?
GK: I’d like, love to get gold ha ha ha, it’s pretty obvious. The last games I was trying to go for both disciplines, and I qualified for slope style. I also qualified fourth in the half-pipe which is the coaches discretion spot and they gave it to someone else. I was pretty gutted about it. This time around I’d really like to go for half pipe. I’d like to go for both, that’s what I’m trying to do.
MM: What do you want people to be saying about Gus Kenworthy in 2018?
GK: There’s more to me than just a skier or the gay guy. There’s other things I want to pursue after the 2018 Winter Olympics. I want to try to get into acting and hosting and do more in front of the camera things. My dream growing up was always acting. I did musical theatre as a kid, so I would love to branch out into tv and movie work. It’s going to be hard but I hope my visibility and being an olympian will at least open doors.
MM: How has your sense of style evolved over the last few years?
GK: Our style in skiing was influenced by skateboarding or hip-hop so when I was younger I wore baggy jeans and baggy t-shirts. It’s gross to look at a photo of me going into high school. My style now is more mature and tapered and fitted and I like things fitting the way they should; it shows off your physique and makes me feel confident. Everything I wear is monochromatic. I wear a lot of black, and a little bit of grey and white. I’d rather have a pop of color in an outfit than have a ton of color. It’s the same as my living space. I really like a monochromatic themes that use blacks and whites, raw steel and maybe one pop of color.
MM: Best part of love right now?
GK: Having a partner in things. Matt is very understanding. It’s hard having a relationship that is very public because everyone expects it to be perfect in a way. He’s really really sweet and a good communicator so I’d say the best part of love is communication and understanding.
MM: Best part of life right now?
GK: Things are pretty good for me right now, I’m happy and excited going into the Olympics; so I’d have to say the best part of life is skiing.