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  Newsmakers   19 Feb 2018  Skier Gus Kenworthy's televised gay kiss with boyfriend lights up Olympics

Skier Gus Kenworthy's televised gay kiss with boyfriend lights up Olympics

THE ASIAN AGE / AFP
Published : Feb 19, 2018, 10:46 am IST
Updated : Feb 19, 2018, 10:46 am IST

The 26-year-old American finished 12th in the slopestyle on Sunday but still found himself making headlines.

It has been hailed by some as a landmark moment in Games history and the footage went viral on social media. (Twitter/GusKenworthy)
 It has been hailed by some as a landmark moment in Games history and the footage went viral on social media. (Twitter/GusKenworthy)

Gay freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy said it was a moment that he "never dreamed" possible as a child after he was filmed kissing his partner on live television at the Olympics.

It has been hailed by some as a landmark moment in Games history and the footage went viral on social media.

 

The 26-year-old American finished 12th in the slopestyle on Sunday but still found himself making headlines after kissing his boyfriend at the bottom of the slope while the TV cameras were on him.

Thrust into the global spotlight, Kenworthy tweeted on Monday alongside a still image of the now-famous kiss: "Didn't realise this moment was being filmed yesterday but I'm so happy that it was.

"My childhood self would never have dreamed of seeing a gay kiss on TV at the Olympics but for the first time ever a kid watching at home CAN!

"Love is love."

The tweet garnered hundreds of messages of support and Adam Rippon, the gay American figure skater, wrote in reply: "Wow okay I just whimpered to myself 'so beautiful'".

Speaking soon after the kiss was captured on camera, the British-born Kenworthy reflected on how times have changed in just a few years.

 

"The only way to change perceptions, break down barriers, break down homophobia is through representation," he said.

"And that is definitely not something I had as a kid. I definitely did not see a gay athlete at the Olympics kissing their boyfriend.

"If I had it would have made it a lot easier for me."

He added: "That was something I wanted at the last Olympics, to share a kiss with my boyfriend at the bottom and it was something I was too scared to do.

"To be able to do that, give him a kiss, have that affection broadcast for the world is incredible."

Kenworthy's post went viral on social media and garnered over 5,619 retweets and over 37 thousand likes.

 

The kiss also had Twitterati fawning over the cute couple:

Earlier at the Games in South Korea, Canadian figure skater Eric Radford became the first openly gay Winter Olympic gold medallist in winning the team event.

Tags: olympics, adam rippon, gus kenworthy, twitter, gay, lgbtq, homosexuality, bigotry, viral, winter olympics, skiing