A celebration of love is always special but some can make history. And that’s what many feels happened when American freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy kissed his partner Matthew Wilkas at the Winter Olympic Games 2018 on live television. The 26-year-old American athlete finished last in the slopestyle on Sunday (February 18), but won million hearts around the globe. As TV crews and shutterbugs thronged at the bottom of the slopes, their beautiful moment together was captured and it quickly went viral.
And ever since then, not just members of the LGBTQ community but even others have been hailing it as a landmark moment in the history of Olympics. Kenworthy too couldn’t believe that the moment was captured by photographers and went on to be aired and wrote an emotional post on Twitter on Monday. “Didn’t realise this moment was being filmed yesterday but I’m so happy that it was. My childhood self would never have dreamed of seeing a gay kiss on TV at the Olympics but for the first time ever a kid watching at home CAN!” Kenworthy tweeted sharing their adorable photo.
Didn’t realize this moment was being filmed yesterday but I’m so happy that it was. My childhood self would never have dreamed of seeing a gay kiss on TV at the Olympics but for the first time ever a kid watching at home CAN! Love is love is love. pic.twitter.com/8t0zHjgDg8
— Gus Kenworthy (@guskenworthy) February 19, 2018
Tweeple too couldn’t keep calm and many lauded him for fighting the stigma against people belonging to the LGBTQ community and ruled, “Love is Love” and thanked him for the “visibility”. Fellow Olympian and gay American figure skater too was moved by the moment and wrote in reply: “Wow okay I just whimpered to myself ‘so beautiful'”.
Wow okay i just whimpered to myself “so beautiful” 😭
— Adam Rippon (@Adaripp) February 19, 2018
— Dustin Lance Black (@DLanceBlack) February 18, 2018
Wow, what a moment! @guskenworthy shares a kiss with his boyfriend at #Olympics2018. This visibility matters. This moment of affection gives hope and inspiration to LGBTQ people everywhere. pic.twitter.com/FcDd8RcLdh
— Athlete Ally (@AthleteAlly) February 18, 2018
— Tom Knight (@TJ_Knight) February 18, 2018
Watching @guskenworthy kiss his boyfriend at the #Olympics “It’s something I was too scared to do for myself. To be able to do that, to give him a kiss, to have that affection broadcast to the world, is incredible. pic.twitter.com/jOkVWRtlsn #GusKenworthy
— Gigi 🏳️🌈🐾 (@GigiFrisby) February 18, 2018
Kids all over the world will benefit from this visibility. 💜💛💙❤💚 https://t.co/VnB7Ba2BDo
— Daniel W. Brewster (@wvuDmoney) February 19, 2018
Such a simple capture during, say, the 1992 Olympics would have had huge meaning if I saw it on TV as an 11-year-old. You can’t underestimate the simple, slight yet profound impact of such things. https://t.co/rvswJwiu7t
— Jon Murray (@JonMurray) February 19, 2018
It blows my mind that we live in a world where in 2018 this is such a huge monumental moment. But I’m so happy that this is a moment we are finally having and I hope it will pave the way for many more. One day we will live in a world where this can and will be commonplace. ❤
— Cassi (@ladyeqyss) February 19, 2018
— Jared Butler (@J_Butt16) February 19, 2018
My childhood self would have never ever believed 2 men kissing at all let alone on an #Olympics broadcast. #TimesHaveChanged & I am so happy. I just imagine all those kids who will see this & know #LoveIsLoveIsLove & my heart fills with pure joy. #Pride 🏳️🌈💪❤
— Hugh Sturdy (@SturdyHugh) February 19, 2018
Medal or no: you’re a champion for humanity. Thank you sir. Thank you.
— Byron (@ByronWestham) February 19, 2018
Truly a gold medal 🥇 moment https://t.co/rX1tyGvT9X
— Ina Fried (@inafried) February 19, 2018
“The only way to change perceptions, break down barriers, break down homophobia is through representation,” he told reporters after the kiss. “And that is definitely not something I had as a kid. I definitely did not see a gay athlete at the Olympics kissing their boyfriend,” he added.
However, this is not the first time gay athletes celebrated their love at Olympics. During the 2016 Rio Games, British racewalker Tom Bosworth proposed to his boyfriend Harry Dineley and it was celebrated by all. But for the first ever same-sex proposal at the Olympics, was when Olympic rugby sevens venue worker Marjorie Enya asked Brazil player Isadora Cerullo to marry her during the Rio Games.