Gus Kenworthy Reveals He 'Pleaded' To Return After Terrifying Health Scare

Gus Kenworthy Reveals He 'Pleaded' To Return After Terrifying Health Scare


Gus Kenworthy Reveals He Pleaded To Return After Terrifying Health Scare

At the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Gus Kenworthy made history by becoming one of the first openly gay athletes in any action sport. His brave declaration on ESPN Magazine's cover was followed by an unforgettable kiss on live TV with then-boyfriend Matt Wilkas.

Even the most accomplished sports stars can face unexpected health complications. Olympic skier and actor Gus Kenworthy recently suffered an intense experience that necessitated him to withdraw from competition.

What Happened?

In February, Gus Kenworthy was on set of FOX's reality series Special Forces: World's Toughest Test when he experienced an alarming health scare. He began coughing and felt "horrible" in his chest; upon consulting a medic, it was confirmed that he had anaphylaxis. Hurried into an ambulance and taken to a hospital for treatment, Kenworthy is grateful that no one else suffered.

At the hospital, he was given an adrenaline shot to help improve his condition and then released to go home.

He had never before suffered from anaphylaxis. The medic explained that it could have been an allergic reaction or a rebound attack of anaphylaxis after another previous reaction, and hoped this would be his last experience with it.

Since then, Kenworthy has been focused on his upcoming X Games and Olympic bid in Beijing. Additionally, he's gearing up to represent Great Britain - his birth country - which he announced Tuesday.

This athlete has achieved great success in the snowboarding world, winning gold at both X Games and Olympics. He's become an inspiration to LGBTQ athletes as well as a champion of animal rights.

At PyeongChang 2018, he brought his beloved pup Birdie with him and they quickly formed an unbreakable bond that transcends sport. Their connection is so strong that both have become successful Instagram stars in their own right.

After the Olympics, Kenworthy came out as gay. He was one of the first action sports athletes to do so and quickly gained a large fan base for it.

He made history as the first athlete to kiss a partner on live TV while competing in slopestyle. This moment transformed the sport and served as an icon for LGBTQ+ acceptance within athletics.

Kenworthy hopes his experience at the Winter Olympics can serve as an inspiration to future generations of LGBT athletes. He's an ambassador for Prada, Monster Energy, Smith Optics and Atomic Skis; furthermore he belongs to The Worthy Foundation - a 501c3 that gives back to members of the LGBTQ+ community.


Kenworthy, one of the greatest freestyle skiers in history, is also an outspoken advocate for LGBT+ rights. In 2015 he became the first openly gay Olympic athlete to come out, and since then his influence in both sport and entertainment has grown exponentially.

Kenworthy recently joined forces with Head & Shoulders, a company that offers hair care products for men, to encourage gender-inclusive leadership. Additionally, he spoke at an NYC summit hosted by Out Leadership - an organization dedicated to bringing LGBT+ leadership into business and politics.

At the summit, Kenworthy joined high-profile executives and politicians in unveiling a new business climate index that ranks states based on their treatment of and inclusion of LGBTQ+ people. While Kenworthy is well known as an accomplished skier, his role as an outspoken advocate and leader for the LGBT+ community sets him apart from his peers in many ways.

Gus Kenworthy, an Olympic skier renowned as a leading advocate for LGBT+ causes, recently revealed he had suffered an unexpected health scare which put him on hold from appearing on Special Forces: World's Toughest Test.

After contracting COVID-19, a deadly strain of influenza at the center of the global flu pandemic, Kenworthy took some time off to recuperate. He was cleared to return to skiing a few days later but began feeling unwell with fevers and chills.

Kenworthy gradually increased the intensity of his training sessions and paid attention to what his body was telling him through exercises like bodyweight squats. Additionally, he focused on core strengthening exercises like planks, mountain climbers, Russian twists and deadbugs in an effort to develop a strong core.

Kenworthy dedicated time to his training, family and friends - especially his son who recently turned five - as well as supporting HSI, the animal welfare organization that saved his dog Birdie from South Korean dog meat trading. In addition, he continued his support of HSI by contributing money and resources to their cause.

Kenworthy is still recovering from his COVID-19 experience, but he's confident he will be ready for the Olympics in 2022. Additionally, he uses his social media following to build brand recognition and reach audiences who might otherwise not be interested in skiing.


Gus Kenworthy had an inspiring recovery story after suffering through his latest health scare. During a challenging episode of Special Forces: World's Toughest Test, he started coughing and said, "It felt like I had an awful stomach bug." Calling for help quickly brought on epinephrine to calm him down and avoid any potential fatal reactions.

Through this experience, he also gained insight into his body and took a closer look at his diet. This newfound understanding has now enabled him to maintain sobriety while improving the quality of his life.

When it comes to recovery, there are various paths a person can take. These decisions are made based on factors like an individual's strengths, interests, goals, coping abilities and resources. Examples include mental health treatment and healthcare treatment options; mutual aid groups; medication management; family support networks; spirituality.

Decide which path you want to take by asking yourself some key questions. What is the most essential aspect of recovery for you? How much time do you devote to it? What's the most efficient way to reach that goal and is it something that makes you feel confident doing?

If you are struggling with addiction, working with a professional can be extremely beneficial. Not only will you learn how to cope with your feelings and behaviors that led to substance use, but it will also make changes easier in your life.

Rebuilding Confidence

Kenworthy had previously explained his need to take time off to recover after a concussion in Switzerland. Once cleared to resume training, however, just days after starting back up again on the slopes he became ill with fevers and chills; ultimately leading him to withdraw from competition due to this condition.

After his health scare, Kenworthy says he was "pretty depressed" and had difficulty getting out of bed. He felt "lost in the world," worried about competing in the Olympics, and worried that his infection could spread to his teammates and make them sick.

He described it as a "horrifying situation," adding that he had been administered epinephrine immediately after the attack. After arriving at the hospital, he spent 24 hours under observation.

He's now fighting the infection with expert guidance, and is trying to regain his confidence as he prepares for the Olympics. In an online-exclusive story from ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue, Kenworthy shares insights into his recovery journey and how free skiing has affected him. Subscribe now and get all the details; issue hits newsstands July 7.

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