The moment US skier Gus Kenworthy kissed his partner Matthew Wilkas on live TV before he competed at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics has gone viral.
The kiss was screened live on US television and a screenshot the 26-year-old athlete uploaded to his Twitter account has been liked more than 50,000 times.
“I didn’t even know that that was a televised moment at all, but I think that’s amazing,” Kenworthy said after his event.
“That’s something that I wanted at the last Olympics was to share a kiss with my boyfriend at the bottom and it was something that I was too scared to do for myself.
“And so to be able to do that, to give him a kiss, to have that affection broadcasted for the world is incredible.
“I think the only way to really change perceptions, break down homophobia, break down barriers is through representation. That’s 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 that if I had it would have made it a lot easier for me, so hopefully it did that for other people.”
The freestyle skier competed in the event with a broken thumb and a hip injury and ended up finishing 12th in his event that was won by Norway’s Oystein Braaten.
Pyeongchang is his second Winter Olympics, but his first as an openly gay athlete.
He said he felt “horrible” about being closeted at the 2014 Sochi Games in Russia, and had previously spoken of his fears of losing sponsors and friends before he came out in 2015.
My Seoul mate! He's a little late for Valentine's Day but he made it just in time to see me compete tomorrow (tonight for you guys in the states)! Feeling very lucky to have him, my family, my agent and some amazing friends here in Korea cheering me on. The past few days of practice have been pretty tough (I broke my thumb two days ago and yesterday got a massive hematoma on my hip that needed to be drained), but despite it all I'm still so excited to go out there and give it my all. Win or lose I'm gonna be walking away with my head held high! Thank you all for your words of encouragement and support, I wouldn't be here without you! #TeamUSA 🇺🇲🏳️🌈
“Being out at this Games has kind of meant the world to me,” he said.
“Just getting to really be myself and be authentic and I think that landing a run in the final, getting on the podium obviously would have been icing on the cake.
“But even though it didn’t happen for me, I still had a wonderful Olympic experience and I’m really happy for the guys that did get on the podium.
“I don’t know, maybe there’s a next time.”