Gus Kenworthy, this month's Athlete Spotlight, is a triple threat, competing in big air, halfpipe and slopestyle skiing. (Photo: Mark Epstein/U.S. Freeskiing)
Gus Kenworthy has emerged as a double threat, mastering both slopestyle and halfpipe disciplines while maintaining a rapid ascent through the freeskiing ranks. Both his recent success and his childhood spent skiing the legendary steeps and backcountry of Telluride have put Kenworthy on the path to becoming one of the top all-around skiers in the world. He then had a clean sweep of the Aspen/Snowmass Open slopestyle and halfpipe skiing events in both 2010 and 2012, which he followed up by winning the 2011 and 2012 AFP overall titles. 2013 proved to be a breakthrough season for him, with a silver at the Olympic venue halfpipe World Cup in Sochi and his first X Games medal in Tignes.
Sport: Slopestyle, halfpipe and big air skiing.
How/when did you decide you wanted to compete: I've always been competitive with everything that I do, so it was natural for me to start competing in local freeskiing events when I was younger. When I started doing well at the events, I began to enter into bigger events and move up the rankings.
Biggest accomplishment in your career so far: The AFP Overall World Champion is a title given to one male and female who, at the end of the year, have accumulated the most points across the board for all three freeskiing disciplines. This past season, I defended that title for the third season in a row and it's an accomplishment that I'm really proud of!
Goals for next season: Make the Olympic team for both slopestyle and halfpipe skiing. Win an X Games gold medal. Defend my AFP Overall title again.
Favorite snow destination: Probably either Whistler, BC, or the south island of New Zealand. Both of those places are pretty amazing.
Favorite non-snow destination: I was born in London and I love going back and visiting. It's a really cool city and it's definitely up there on my list of favorite places.
Favorite food: Hard to say...maybe ice cream?
If you weren't a professional athlete what would you be: I'd love to be an actor. It's a super hard career to try and break into, but I think that's something I might try to pursue after skiing.
Time you've been most scared in your life: I lost one of my best friends in a skiing accident when I was younger and the experience shook me to my core. I don't think anything else has affected me emotionally quite as much as that night did.
Biggest vice: Sexy smells.
Biggest pet peeve: People asking if you are alright or why your'e mad when nothing is wrong and you're fine.
Advice to others who want to follow in your footsteps: Have fun, stay safe and don't take anything for granted!