Freestyle skiing: Kenworthy seals tough Games with long-awaited kiss

Harry How  Getty

With a casual kiss, Gus Kenworthy and boyfriend Matthew Wilkas showed how much progress he's made from Sochi to Pyeonchang, South Korea.

It was Wilkas, in his red-white-and-blue stocking cap, kissing Kenworthy, who had lowered his facemask to lean in for a quick smooch before heading up the lift.

This years Winter Olympics have been historic for many reasons - not only did we have our first two openly gay Olympians in Adam Rippon and Gus Kenworthy, but instead of defining who they were in the context of the Olympics, it only served to add another facet to the public understanding of these men as athletes and as people.

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Kenworthy finally began competing in the slopestyle on Saturday after a week of waiting.

The Olympics are as political as the uniforms on the athletes' backs, not to mention as unavoidable as the national anthems played in salute to every victor of a gold medal.

But it was an ugly day on the hill for Kenworthy, who struggled with recent injuries to his thumb and hip.

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"That's something that I wanted at the last Olympics, to share a kiss with my boyfriend at the bottom [of the hill]", Kenworthy said. To be able to do that, to give him a kiss, to have that affection broadcasted to the world is incredible. That win is more precious and cherished than a gold medal.

"Being out at these games has kind of meant the world to me", he said. I've fallen and I can't get up! He demonstrated very little of the explosion or style that has made him a six-time world champion, and failed to complete any of his three runs in the finals without a major, score-wrecking error. That's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and no one can ever take that away from Kenworthy. "It's good that it's televised because it normalizes it more". And that's definitely not something I had as a kid. "And I think if I had, it would have made it a lot easier". "I would imagine it would be a huge moment for a young gay kid to see an awesome athlete so open and proud of himself and not caring what anyone thinks of his sexuality". "I wouldn't be here without you", he tweeted.

"It didn't work out for me, which is a bummer", Kenworthy said. The medal? Or a kiss?

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