entertainment

Gus Kenworthy shares ongoing health issues that could impact Winter Olympics

"Not sure what else I can do but wait"

2021-12-14

Words: Brian Leonard; picture: Instagram/@GusKenworthy

We're sending Gus Kenworthy our best wishes since the star opened up about his recent battle with health issues that could impact his participation in the Winter Olympics.

Updating fans on Instagram, the 30-year-old revealed he sustained a concussion to his head while training, before later catching long COVID.

The sportsman, who is gay, won the silver medal in Men's slopestyle at the 2014 Games in Sochi. The Winter Olympics take place from 4-20 February 2022 in Beijing.

In 2019, Kenworthy - who was born in Essex but raised in the US - announced he was switching sporting allegiance from the USA to the UK ahead of the Games.

"I’ve had some ongoing issues with my head"

Kenworthy's statement in full reads: "Six weeks ago I got a pretty bad concussion while at a training camp in Switzerland. Because I’ve had a few serious TBI’s (traumatic brain injuries) in recent years the seriousness of each added concussion has been stressed to me [sic].

"I took two full weeks off and followed all of the SafeSport steps to return to snow. However only two days after getting back on skis I started feeling really sick: fever, chills, etc. I took a COVID test and to my surprise it was positive. Despite being fully vaccinated I had caught a breakthrough case.

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by gus kenworthy (@guskenworthy)

"I checked into a hotel and did a 10-day self-isolated quarantine until I tested negative and was cleared to fly home. Unfortunately, in the weeks since, I’ve had some ongoing issues with my head. Any time I’ve tried to workout or gotten my heart rate up I’ve become very light-headed, disoriented and nauseous.

"I was worried it had to do with the concussion but I’ve consulted with specialists and because I had previously passed all the tests and was cleared to return to sport we think it’s more likely residual effects of COVID. I showed up in Copper last week for the first World Cup of the season and after the warm-up before the elimination round I once again felt dizzy and disoriented.

"I was just discussing what to do with my coach, @justin_dorey, when the starter called my name and said the judges were ready for me. I dropped in but felt completely lost in the air during the first trick in my run - the skiing equivalent to the 'twisties'. We decided to withdraw me from the event foregoing my second run or a chance in finals. I have another competition coming up this week, the @dewtour, but it’s still TBD whether I’ll be able to compete or in what capacity.

"With the Olympics less than two months away I’m incredibly frustrated but trying to stay positive and hopeful that this will pass. Not sure what else I can do but wait. Anyway, just wanted to keep y’all in the loop. Thanks in advance for the well wishes and if any of you have had experience with long COVID and have recommendations for things that have helped please let me know! Appreciate it."

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

A post shared by gus kenworthy (@guskenworthy)