The U.S. Olympic silver medalist talks about his worst habit, what he would do if he won the lottery and his penchant for interior design.
On the slopes, Gus Kenworthy is a superhuman, but he says at home, he’s just your average guy who spends too much time looking at his phone and listening to pop music during his workout. (OK, maybe not “average.”)
Before taking the global stage at the Olympic Winter Games 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea, 24Life asked the U.S. Olympian to share some “behind the scenes” info about himself.
24Life: What were you like in high school?
Gus Kenworthy: I skipped eighth grade and went into ninth grade, so I was the youngest in my grade, which was a little awkward. I had been getting into trouble in the previous grade that I was in, but I had gotten really great test scores. And so, between me being in trouble in my class and being quite good academically, they were like, “Well, we’re actually going to move Gus up a grade.” I think it helped me. I was with kids who were smarter than me and older than me, so I ended up being the little kid who was just following everyone around. Most of my friends were older than me.
24Life: What’s your worst habit?
GK: I think my worst habit is that I’m so addicted to my phone. I’ll find myself at dinner and a text will come through, and then I’ll look at it. It’s just the rudest, most annoying habit, so I’ve been trying to break it. I’ll leave my phone in the car or put my phone in my hat underneath my seat when I’m eating because I want to be present. But it’s just hard.
24Life: If someone made a movie of your life, who would play you?
GK: If someone was making a movie of my life, I’d want Jake Gyllenhaal to play me.
24Life: What do you think about when you’re not thinking about skiing?
GK: Interior design. I’m alone in a space, I’ll end up thinking about ways it could be furnished!
24Life: If you won the lottery right now, what would you do?
GK: I would buy my mom a new house. I would try to take care of the people who have taken care of me.
24Life: What’s the best gift someone ever gave you?
GK: I really love to sing. [Last] year for Christmas, my boyfriend gave me a karaoke machine, which was kind of an awesome present.
But I think that the best present I’ve ever received is this custom pair of ski pole grips. My ski poles have bicycle grips that slide onto them. My first boyfriend made a really simple pair that was custom, so my ski poles were a little bit unique to me. Every year, he made them better and better, and at the Olympic Winter Games in 2014, he presented me with a pair that he had made with aircraft-grade aluminum and leather, and had my initials on them and an American flag etched in the leather. It was beautiful and crazy and thoughtful.
24Life: When you’re trying to get pumped up for a workout, what do you listen to?
GK: I love pop music, so my playlist is full of pop music when I’m at the gym. Robyn, Sia, Carly Rae Jepsen. Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Cut to the Feeling” is the top of my playlist right now.
24Life: What is your favorite movie?
GK: My favorite movie is “Mean Girls.” It’s really funny. I love Tina Fey. I think she’s hilarious. I think that it was cast really well. It’s the most quotable movie ever.
THE ESSENTIAL GUS KENWORTHY
24Life: Boxers or briefs?
24Life: Soda or coffee?
24Life: Salty or sweet?
24Life: Hot or cold?
24Life: Leg day or arm day?
24Life: Chicken or steak?
24Life: Pizza or pasta?
24Life: Early bird or night owl?
24Life: Instagram or Snapchat?
24Life: Spider-Man or Batman?
24Life: Cake or ice cream?
Cake—no, that’s actually not true. Ice cream.
24Life: Big city or tropical island?
24Life: Dogs or cats?
Photo credit: Tom Casey, box24studio.com