Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy is considering a move away from the United States for the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, contemplating joining Great Britain for the next winter games instead.
Kenworthy — who won the silver medal in the slopestyle at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, though finished 12th in the event in PyeongChang in 2018 while battling injuries — is a dual citizen with the United Kingdom. His mother is a British national, and he was born there before moving to Colorado.
The move, his agent Michael Spencer told the Sports Business Journal on Friday, would allow Kenworthy the chance to compete in all three freeski disciplines — something they say U.S. Ski and Snowboard hasn’t adjusted training schedules to allow.
“The biggest thing is he wants to compete in all three events, and we need to find the best scenario to do that,” Spencer said, via Sports Business Journal. “In the last two cycles, the format with the U.S. team has not been conducive to allow that to happen. And with him being the star that he is, you’d think maybe they’d find a way to help manage his program a little better so he could try to make it in both.”
Kenworthy and figure skater Adam Rippon became the first two openly gay American Winter Olympians at the 2018 games in South Korea. He also holds a silver world championship medal in the slopestyle, having won it in 2017, though was not named to the United States team for the 2019 world championships. Most recently, Kenworthy appeared on “American Horror Story: 1984.”
Should he make the move, Kenworthy would become only the second American medalist to switch countries. Rod Davis won the sailing gold medal in the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles, and later switched to New Zealand in 1992.
Both the United States and Great Britain have approved the transfer, per the report. The International Ski Federation still must approve the move, though Kenworthy doesn’t officially need to make a decision until the start of the 2020-21 season.
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