Gus Kenworthy sat down with Ellen DeGeneres on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” to discuss being out at this year’s Winter Olympics, the inspiration behind his Head & Shoulders ad and Vice President Mike Pence leading the U.S. delegation to the Olympics.
“It’s going to be a different experience than last time around because I’m not in the closet,” Kenworthy says of being out for the first time during the Olympic games. “I just want to meet as many athletes as I can, get to enjoy the opening and closing ceremonies, [and] hopefully ski the best I possibly can.”
Kenworthy revealed he finds Pence a “strange choice” to lead the U.S. team delegation, which includes Kenworthy and out figure skater Adam Rippon.
“To have somebody leading the delegation that [has] directly attacked the LGBTQ community just seems like a bad fit,” Kenworthy says. “I feel like the Olympics is all about inclusion and people coming together, and it seems like it’s not really doing that.”
The athlete also shared the meaning behind his Head & Shoulders commercial which features Kenworthy holding a rainbow flag and mentioning the LGBT community.
“When I was in the closet, I had so much pressure on my shoulders,” Kenworthy says.“When I came out, that was actually the first moment I felt relieved of those stresses. It really showed in my skiing.”
Catch Kenworthy competing at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea this month.
Watch the interview below.