Here’s one major upside for athletes to come out — they get to show off their hot partners cheering them on during competitions.
Boyfriends/girlfriends making the switch from anonymous crowd members to loving significant others is not only a bonus for the onlookers and audience at home, it’s got to feel extra special for athletes to experience the acceptance firsthand.
After a very public coming out for skier Gus Kenworthy, last weekend’s Aspen X Games provided the perfect opportunity for his boyfriend, Gayby actor Matthew Wilkas, to cheer him on loud and proud.
And it would seem the open approach paid off — Kenworthy took home two medals.
“You have a lot of support down here. This is a pretty historic night,” said an ESPN reporter after Kenworthy’s silver medal SuperPipe run.
“I’m just feeling good this year. I’m just happy,” he replied.
“Got a big weight off my shoulders, and oh my god I’m emotional. Yeah, I just feel good. That was honestly the best run I’ve ever done.”
He added to Rolling Stone: “Yeah, the TV boyfriend thing sounds weird, I know. But everyone I looked up to growing up, they would show their girlfriend on TV – you know, Simon Dumont’s girlfriend, or Tanner Hall’s girlfriend, or whatever. I was just kind of bummed that it was something that I’d never have.
“I felt like I was never going to be confident and authentic and introduce someone as my boyfriend to the reporters and have him on TV. It was really special to want to do that and be happy about it. It was amazing.”
He took to Instagram to share the moment:
Here’s the couple last week backstage at Conan: