Gus Kenworthy has become the first man to claim the World Cup halfpipe gold competing for Great Britain.
Kenworthy announced in December that he was leaving the US Olympic team to join the Great British team, where he was born.
The Winter Olympian silver medalist said he decided to make the move in “honour” of his British mother Heather.
It’s proving to be a good move for Kenworthy as he has earned the top spot after scoring 93.20 at the Calgary Rodeo, his first competitive halfpipe in two years.
It's his first World Cup win since 2016 as he also becomes the first GB man to claim WC halfpipe gold 🥇
— Team GB (@TeamGB) February 15, 2020
Speaking to Eurosport, Kenworthy said: “I feel great. It’s my first halfpipe World Cup in two years, and it’s my first competing under the British flag, and I’m just so, so happy.
“I landed a run that I’m happy with, the level of riding tonight was amazing, and I’m very happy to share the podium with Brendan (Mackay) and Birk (Irving).
“I didn’t want to come back to competition slow and just kind of half-ass it. I wanted to come back really aggressive and strong, so it feels good.
“I honestly didn’t know if I was coming back or if I was done competing, but I took some time off and really missed it. It’s great to be back.”
— Gus Kenworthy (@guskenworthy) February 9, 2020
British-born Kenworthy gained world-wide fame in 2014 for winning a silver-medal in the men’s freestyle skiing in the Sochi Winter Olympics.
The free skater received an outpouring of support from the skating community when he came out in 2015, including Olympic medalist Grete Eliassen and fellow free skater Tom Wallisch.
During the 2018 Winter Olympics, Kenworthy shared a kiss with boyfriend Matthew Wilkas and was caught on camera, making live TV history.
Gusworthy has used his platform to comment on political issues.
Broke my thumb yesterday in practice. It won't stop me from competing (obvi) but it does prevent me from shaking Pence's hand so… Silver linings! Will be giving my teammates (and literally everyone else) an enthusiastic "thumbs up!" of encouragement the rest of the trip. pic.twitter.com/XylPPGAq9P
— Gus Kenworthy (@guskenworthy) February 15, 2018
After breaking his thumb during a practice session, Kenworthy took the opportunity to throw a pretty epic dig at VP Mike Pence, saying that this will prevent him from shaking Pence’s hand.
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