Most Olympians would be pretty devastated to break a bone mere days before competing in the biggest athletic event in the world, but champion slopestyle skier Gus Kenworthy is looking at the bright side. After breaking his thumb during practice on Feb. 14, Kenworthy tweeted photos of both his x-ray and bandaged hand, informing fans: "It won't stop me from competing (obvi) but it does stop me from shaking Pence's hand." The openly gay athlete, who has made headlines for speaking out against Vice President (and US Olympic Delegate) Mike Pence's anti-LGBTQ+ political record since the 2018 Winter Games opening ceremony, added a cheeky: "Silver linings!"
Broke my thumb yesterday in practice. It won't stop me from competing (obvi) but it does prevent me from shaking Pence's hand so... Silver linings! Will be giving my teammates (and literally everyone else) an enthusiastic "thumbs up!" of encouragement the rest of the trip. pic.twitter.com/XylPPGAq9P
— Gus Kenworthy (@guskenworthy) February 15, 2018
"When we have people elected into office that believe in conversion therapy and are trying to strip trans rights in the military and do these things that are directly attacking the LGBT community, I have no patience," Kenworthy told CBS News shortly before revealing his training injury to fans. "I am so proud to be from the US and to be from a country where you are able to voice your political opinions and stand up for what you believe in, and I think that when you have a platform, you have to use it, especially if you feel very strongly about something." He also revealed that he would decline any post-Olympics invitation to the White House.
Ever the cheerleader for his fellow Team USA athletes, Kenworthy jokingly tweeted to fans that he'll be giving "an enthusiastic thumbs up!" to everyone he meets for the rest of the Winter Games. (The brace for his broken thumb creates a rather optimistic gesture.) We hope he will make a speedy recovery before his big moment, the freestyle skiing portion of the Olympics. We'll be watching closely for any updates about Kenworthy's condition . . . and any more shade toward VP Pence.