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Olympian Gus Kenworthy reflects on ‘remarkable’ but ‘emotionally draining’ week in Africa

Just getting back from a truly remarkable week in Africa. As I mentioned before I left, the upcoming Olympic Games will be featuring a team made up entirely of refugees. Because of that, the Olympics brought me on as an athlete host for a documentary series that journeys into various camps and talks to refugees about their daily lives, their pasts and how sport helps them to find relief from their current situations. Although it ended up being a much more emotionally draining experience than I anticipated, I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to meet so many amazing, kind, inspiring people and to hear their stories. While I was in the Nakivale refugee camp in Uganda I got to play with the kids and partake in various sports with the refugees. The one resounding thing I heard them say, was that playing sports is their saving grace. They spoke of how free they felt when they were engaged in whichever sport was their sport and how they could channel their pain and frustration into their performance and use it to push themselves further. I can't wait to watch, and root for, the refugee team (in addition to the US team) at the upcoming games in Rio.

A photo posted by gus kenworthy (@guskenworthy) on



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3 Remarks

  1. Uganda? He was without his boyfriend then. As in that country [sic] both male and female homosexual activity is illegal. Under the Penal Code, “carnal knowledge against the order of nature” between two males carries a potential penalty of life imprisonment. Unlike the locals (gays I mean) I guess he got lucky. No, I don’t think things are going to improve in the foreseeable future; I’ve been hearing the same through the decades and if anything they got worse, just recently they avoided (after huge international pressure, meaning no money for local corruption for the “charity” excuse) the “kill the gays” bill. But before that in the year 2000 the extended the crime from “any male” to “any person” (thus including women in the persecution). OF COURSE that the children are not to blame (and possibly will be induced to think that gays are possessed by the devil, too), I just mention he was lucky (lucky as a Jew visiting Nazi Germany in 1939).

  2. June 24th, 2016 at 5:52 pm
    K. Martinez says:

    Gus Kentworthy has such a beautiful smile. If I saw him in person I’d probably melt.

  3. That child looks so upset he’s being used as a prop on Instagram.

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