The 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics aren’t over, but already history is being made. Gus Kenworthy (a skier, 26) and Adam Rippon (a figure skater, 28) are the first openly gay winter Olympians to compete for Team USA.
Kenworthy (left) shared this picture of the two on his Instagram after the opening ceremonies, captioning it: "I feel incredibly honored to be here in Korea competing for the US and I'm so proud to be representing the LGBTQ community alongside this amazing guy! Eat your heart out, Pence. #TeamUSA #TeamUSGay”.
Kenworthy won a silver medal at the Sochi Olympics in 2014, but this will be his first Olympics after coming out via an ESPN interview in 2015. He has been an enthusiastic advocate for LGBTQ rights since he came out.
Rippon also came out in 2015. This year, he has been vocal about how troubling he found it that Vice President Mike Pence was picked to lead the US Olympic delegation to the 2018 Olympic opening ceremony.
“You mean Mike Pence? The same Mike Pence that funded gay conversion therapy?” Rippon said in an interview with USA Today.
The Vice President responded on Twitter, telling Rippon, “I want you to know we are FOR YOU. Don’t let fake news distract you. I am proud of you and ALL OF OUR GREAT athletes and my only hope for you and all of #TeamUSA is to bring home the gold. Go get ‘em!” Rippon did not respond to this comment.
Despite the controversy, Rippon went on to place third in the men’s single skating freeskate, and Kenworthy is gearing up for his first competition on Sunday.