February 20, 2018 at 11:31 am EST | by Mariah Cooper
Gus Kenworthy says he and Adam Rippon ‘will be friends for life’

Gus Kenworthy and Adam Rippon (Photo courtesy of Instagram)

Gus Kenworthy and Adam Rippon have started a lifelong friendship.

Kenworthy, 26, told People that he and Rippon, 28, “will be friends for life.”

The pair originally bonded because they were two openly gay athletes competing in the Winter Olympics.

“Us becoming friends just happened kind of naturally,” Kenworthy says. “The first time I heard about him was because he was one of the other openly gay athletes trying to make it to the Games. And so I started following him and he was following me, and we started exchanging messages and catching up on each other’s qualifying processes and rooting each other on.”

“It’s a stressful time in any athlete’s life, and we were sort of dealing with the same pressures,” he adds. “So I think we had a lot to kind of connect over.”

After connecting on social media, the athletes met in person and immediately clicked.

“It was just like sparks flying, like instant friends, fast friends,” Kenworthy says.“I love the guy. I think he’s hilarious, I think he’s so sweet, so charming, so I’m very excited about our friendship.”

However, Kenworthy wants everyone to know they are just friends.

“People really think we’re dating,” Kenworthy, who is in a relationship with Matthew Wilkas, says.

“I was like, ‘I mean, I think he’s [Wilkas] okay with it, like we’ve been together for two-and-a-half years so I don’t know,’ Maybe like throuple [three-way couple]? I don’t know, I mean I’m open to it. It’s 2018,” Kenworthy jokes.

Kenworthy continued that he thinks it’s important to support Rippon and the LGBT community making an impact.

“I think I wanted to show support for him, because I am so proud of him and I’m so proud of our entire LGBT community, regardless of whether it’s in sports or elsewhere,” Kenworthy says. “But I think it’s important in sports, where we have pretty minimal representation, to kind of stand beside each other and make sure that our impact can be great.”

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