Gus Kenworthy kissed his boyfriend on TV and melted all the ice at the Olympics

U.S. skier Gus Kenworthy’s casual kiss with his boyfriend at the Winter Olympics was broadcast on television, and sparked an outpouring of love online.

NBC aired footage of Kenworthy kissing Matthew Wilkas shortly before a qualifying run in Sunday’s slopestyle event in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

 

It was well-received on Twitter:

 

Kenworthy, 26, came out in 2015 and is one of two openly gay men competing for Team USA at the games. He scooped silver in the same event at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and had planned to kiss his then-boyfriend in similar style. He ultimately decided against doing so.

In Pyeongchang, Kenworthy placed 12th in the final. Norway’s Oystein Braaten won gold and Team USA’s Nick Goepper nabbed silver.

After competing, Kenworthy said he hadn’t realized his smooch was being aired.

But I think that’s amazing, that’s something that I wanted at the last Olympics was to share a kiss with my boyfriend at the bottom but I was too scared to do it for myself,” he said, per Reuters. “So to be able to do that to give him a kiss, to have that affection broadcast for the world is incredible.”

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Freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy poses for a portrait at the U.S. Olympic Committee Media Summit in Park City, Utah, U.S. September 25, 2017. Kenworthy listens to pop music while he trains. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Olympian freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy speaks during an event in Times Square to celebrate 100 days from the start of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Games in South Korea, in New York, U.S., November 1, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy poses for a portrait at the U.S. Olympic Committee Media Summit in Park City, Utah, U.S. September 25, 2017. Kenworthy listens to pop music while he trains. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 09: Gus Kenworthy and Shaun White of the United States enter the stadium during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
PYEONGCHANG-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 11: United States Freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy answers questions at a press conference at the Main Press Centre during the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games on February 11, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Photo by Ker Robertson/Getty Images)
SNOWMASS, CO - JANUARY 14: Gus Kenworthy #17 competes in the Men's Ski Slopestyle final during the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix on January 14, 2018 in Snowmass, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
SNOWMASS VILLAGE, CO - January 14: Freestyle Skier Gus Kenworthy is in Toyota U.S. Grand Prix at Aspen Snowmass. January 14, 2018. (Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
MAMMOTH, CA - JANUARY 17: Gus Kenworthy trains prior to the qualifying round of the Men's Ski Halfpipe during the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix on on January 17, 2018 in Mammoth, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
COPPER MOUNTAIN, CO - DECEMBER 06: Gus Kenworthy of the United States competes in a qualifying round of the FIS Freeski World Cup 2018 Men's Ski Halfpipe during the Toyota U.S. Grand Prix on December 6, 2017 in Copper Mountain, Colorado. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 01: (L-R) Figure skater Ashley Wagner, skier Gus Kenworthy and skier Lindsey Vonn take a selfie during the 100 Days Out 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics Celebration - Team USA in Times Square on November 1, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for USOC)
July 12, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy and partner Matthew Wilkas arrive for the 2017 ESPYS at Microsoft Theater. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Gold winner Joss Christensen (C), silver medalist Gus Kenworthy (L) and bronze medalist Nicholas Goepper of the U.S. celebrate during the medal ceremony of the men's freestyle skiing slopestyle finals at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, February 13, 2014. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard (RUSSIA - Tags: SPORT OLYMPICS SPORT SKIING)
Silver medalist Gus Kenworthy (L) of the U.S. celebrates as his compatriot, gold winner Joss Christensen, watches during the medal ceremony of the men's freestyle skiing slopestyle finals at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, February 13, 2014. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard (RUSSIA - Tags: SPORT OLYMPICS SPORT SKIING)
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The only way to break down barriers was “through representation,” added Kenworthy, who said it was “definitely not something I had as a kid.” “I definitely didn’t see a gay athlete at the Olympics kissing their boyfriend and I think if I had it would have made it a lot easier for me.”

Wilkas, meanwhile, described the smooch as “such a little kiss.” “If I’d have known it was a big deal, I’d have made out with him,” he joked to the Associated Press.

Kenworthy, who some folks online believe is a dead ringer for “Game of Thrones” actor Richard Madden (aka Robb Stark), spoke out before the games about Vice President Mike Pence being a “strange choice” to lead the U.S. delegation at the opening ceremony.

After breaking his thumb during a practice on Wednesday, Kenworthy joked the “silver lining” was that he would not have to shake the hand of Pence, who has been forthright with his resistance to LGBTQ rights.

 

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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