Gus Kenworthy: US Winter Olympian switches to Great Britain

By Eleanor Roper
Newsbeat reporter

media captionGus Kenworthy won silver for Team USA in Sochi

Winter Olympic silver medallist Gus Kenworthy has switched allegiance from Team USA to Great Britain.

The 28-year-old represented the United States at the 2014 and 2018 Games, winning a silver medal in slopestyle in Sochi.

Kenworthy holds a British passport and has a British-born mother.

"I think for sure 2022 is my final Olympic Games and I decided I wanted to do it for my mum," he told BBC Newsbeat.

Kenworthy says he has not switched allegiances because he would be unlikely to get a spot with the USA at the next Winter Olympics in Beijing.

"I have no doubt in my mind that I could go back for the US but this is definitely going to be a much smoother approach for me," he said.

"This gives me a path where I'm not taking a place away from one of my friends in the US."

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionKenworthy has appeared on US television in the American Horror Story series

Kenworthy, who was born in Chelmsford, Essex, lives in Los Angeles and will continue to be based there, while travelling to practise and compete.

As well being as an Olympic skier, he is also an actor and influencer.

After taking time off to play the part of Chet Clancy in television series American Horror Story, Kenworthy will return to training in December.

Vicky Gosling, chief executive officer of governing body GB Snowsport, said: "It's incredibly exciting to have him in our ranks and I think it goes to show the level that GB Snowsport has reached in a short space of time.

"The inclusion of Gus in our squad can only raise our level of performance and make us even more competitive."

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionKenworthy was a slopestyle silver medallist at the 2014 Winter Olympics

After coming out after the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Kenworthy has since become an advocate for LGBT rights.

"This third time around I feel it's going to be a totally different approach to the Games for me," he said.

"I'm not going to have to fight tooth and nail for a spot against my friends in the US, I'm going to have a much more straight shot at going to the Games and I'll get to compete again for the LGBT community but this time for GB."

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