Telluride's Gus Kenworthy: A Bite Out Of The Big Apple
We can name him, so we claim him: Telluride’s favorite Olympian, Gus Kenworthy, is a golden boy at the opening of Nordstrom’s new New York store.
And yes, Gus’s Telluride roots get some ink.
After Nancy Kerrigan’s star turn at the 1994 Winter Olympics, she declared, “I’m going to Disney World!” Gus Kenworthy has been living it up his own way since this year’s Pyeongchang Games.
The 26-year-old freestyle skier, who came out as gay in 2015, has appeared on the covers of Out magazine and Gay Times; crowd-surfed at Miami Beach Pride, where he was celebrity grand marshal; and attended Elton John’s Oscar party with his boyfriend, the actor Matthew Wilkas.
On Tuesday night, Mr. Kenworthy and Mr. Wilkas were in an S.U.V., on their way to a different sort of freestyle event: the opening of a Nordstrom Men’s Store on West 57th Street in Midtown Manhattan. Nordstrom had outfitted Mr. Kenworthy in snake-embroidered Gucci sneakers, Acne jeans, a Comme des Garçons sweatshirt and a Moncler jacket. He added his own Denver Nuggets cap, a gift from the rap-battle show “Drop the Mic.” (“I rap-battled Lindsey Vonn, the downhill skier,” he said.)
Mr. Wilkas, 39, wore Polo Ralph Lauren swag borrowed from Mr. Kenworthy. “Gus is sponsored by a whole bunch of people, and I’m sponsored by Gus,” he said dryly.
The couple met in 2015, the same year Mr. Kenworthy came out in ESPN the Magazine. Mr. Kenworthy had seen Mr. Wilkas’s movie “Gayby” and messaged him on Instagram. “He was, like, the first gay person that I ever followed,” Mr. Kenworthy said, “because I was always very in the closet and scared that even following a bunch of hot guys would let everyone know that I was gay.”
Mr. Kenworthy divides his time between his home state, Colorado; New York (where Mr. Wilkas has an apartment); and Los Angeles. He and Mr. Wilkas just got a rescue dog, a Great Pyrenees and Korean Jindo mix named Beemo, after a character in the cartoon series “Adventure Time.” “She’s confident and cute and she doesn’t give an F,” Mr. Kenworthy said.
As the car lurched through Eighth Avenue traffic, he spun his head around and shouted, “Look, there’s Adam on the side of that building!” He had spotted a screen showing the figure skater Adam Rippon, Pyeongchang’s other gay breakout star. The two Olympians had met at the opening ceremony, where they bonded over “RuPaul’s Drag Race” and became “fast friends,” Mr. Kenworthy said.
At Nordstrom, Mr. Kenworthy and Mr. Wilkas were greeted with white wine and photographers. Upstairs, they browsed windbreakers and talked to Stefano Celsi, the salesman who had dressed Mr. Kenworthy that morning. “I’m obsessed with this jacket,” Mr. Kenworthy told him, flipping through a Dior rack. “It’s honestly the sickest thing ever.”
Partygoers included Ice-T and Coco Austin, but Mr. Kenworthy was more excited about another celebrity guest. “He’s obsessed with Mark Ruffalo,” Mr. Wilkas said.
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