Gus Kenworthy will be waving the Union Jack flag in 2020! The freestyle skier plans to represent Great Britain at the next Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, after previously competing for the United States.
“I am very excited to announce that I will be competing for Team GB on the road to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing,” Kenworthy, 28, announced via Instagram on Tuesday, December 3. “Although I was raised in the US I was born in the UK and my mum is British through-and-through. She has been my #1 fan for my entire life and has proudly stood at the bottom of the mountain waving the stars and stripes in support of me for two Olympic cycles. Now, in what is sure to be my last Olympic appearance, I’d like to return the honor by proudly holding up the British flag for her.”
In addition to honoring his mother, Pip Kenworthy, the American Horror Story: 1989 star said he hopes the move will give him “an advantage in terms of qualifying and having less to worry about.”
“[It’s] less people I’m up against, just being able to focus on the tricks that I want to be working on, the runs that I want to do, put me in the best position to hopefully get another medal and not have to kill my body trying to qualify in multiple disciplines right before the Games against the U.S. guys,” he explained to NBC Sports on Tuesday.
The International Ski Federation approved the transition after Gus requested to be released from the U.S. Ski & Snowboard governing body.
The actor was born in Chelmsford, Essex, in 1991 and moved to Telluride, Colorado, two years later. He has a U.K. passport, which qualified him to make the move.
Gus won a silver medal in men’s slopestyle at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He and Adam Rippon were the first openly gay U.S. athletes to qualify for the 2018 games in PyeongChang, South Korea.
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