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Olympic star Gus Kenworthy says dating in the closet was 'torture'

The freeskier revealed he almost came out during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia.

2018-02-07

Gus Kenworthy has opened up about his time living in the closet as an Olympic athlete.

The freestyle skier, who came out in an interview with ESPN back in 2015, spoke about the pain he experienced keeping his boyfriend a secret while in the closet. 

Speaking to The Advocate, Kenworthy said: "Dating in the closet is torture." 

"It's one of the most difficult things, especially if you are completely closeted. And I was, so I had no one to talk to if something in the relationship was bothering me or if I needed to vent." 

The 26-year-old, who is now dating actor Matthew Wilkas, revealed that he almost came out at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, after he was questioned who his celebrity crush was but decided "it wasn't really my time."

At the time, Kenworthy was still closeted to close friends and family, but was in a relationship with photographer Robin Macdonald.

Back then, the former Attitude cover star became the subject of media attention after his plan to bring home a family of stray dogs went viral, though it was Macdonald who had actually found the animals.

Gus recalled how he had to call Macdonald his "friend" during media coverage and now believes the supression contributed to the end of their relationship. 

The Olympic silver medal winner also touched on homophobia in sport and says he believes he's already changed other athletes' attitudes.

"When I started to see my first boyfriend, some of the guys in the industry gave us shit, because suddenly we were hanging out all the time," he said.

"But there was this one skier who would say really f*cked up shit, really rude comments. Actually, it was just bullying." 

However, after coming out, Kenworthy received a call from the skier who apologised for the comments: "He was all chocked up and said, 'I'm so sorry, I didn't know all that time, and if I ever did, I wouldn't have said anything.'"

"It made me cry," he added. 

Gus has been busy preparing for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea and previously revealed that's more excited at meeting the hunky US Bobsledding team.

The sports star also made an appearance on The Ellen Show this month, where opened up about *that* naked mountainside photoshoot