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Team GB star Gus Kenworthy defends decision to beat USA at Winter Olympics as Essex sisters plan to face off

GUS KENWORTHY defended his choice to represent Team GB rather than USA – telling fans online that he wanted to honor his mother, Pip.

The 30-year-old was born in Chelmsford, Essex, but his family was attached to Colorado when he was just two years old.

Gus Kenworthy is representing Team GB after coming to the US in 2022

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Gus Kenworthy is representing Team GB after coming to the US in 2022Credit: Getty

One of the best freestyle skiers in the world, he won a silver medal in the Freestyle Ski Olympics eight years ago in Sochi in the US 1-2-3 overall.

Kenworthy also finished 12th at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics in South Korea under the Stars and Stripes banner.

However, unlike other sports, he has the ability to switch sides and will play in the GB shirt this time in Beijing against younger opponents.

There have been some allegations that Kenworthy went the easier route and used the benefits of a second passport.

But he said: “I grew up in the US but I lived the first few years of my life in the UK.

“My brothers spent more time there than I did. For my first Olympics, I felt like I should compete for America because I was living there at the time, I felt like an American.

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“There are a lot of different crashes on the road. Coming to this Third Game, I realized that I wanted to go about it in a different way.

“I was excited about the idea of ​​being able to honor my mother and her legacy and do it for GB.

“All the kids I’m competing with are 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. I’m 30 years old. I wanted to come one last time and wave Union Jack to my mom and make her really proud of me.

“The two biggest criticisms I received was that I only joined GB because I couldn’t make it to Team USA anymore. I really don’t believe that’s true.

“I noticed that the US team was franticly competitive. But I feel confident that I was able to make their team.

“The other criticism I get is that I’m way ahead of an Englishman who has trained for this.

“But that is not the case either. You must earn the position. It’s not as if someone else won the slot for GB and then I took it. “

Kenworthy came out as gay in 2015 and says his opponents have always been supportive, although over the years he has grown frustrated with hiding his true self.

There were times in my life when I hated myself when I thought about killing myself, and I know the same goes for many LGBT people.

Gus Kenworthy

“We have really stepped into the limelight and are the darlings of the Olympics,” he said.

“Three single boys. What type of girl do you like? Who is your celebrity crush? I was so sad in my head the whole time. I’m gay. I was not out at that time.

“I hated myself for the whole following tour Olympic. Feeling suicidal.

“I lied on all these TV shows and in interviews. I didn’t tell my mom and friends that I was gay.

“I am not ready to go on the field. I just feel like a scam. So next year, I decided to debut.

“There was a time in my life when I hated myself when I thought about killing myself, and I know it’s the same for many people. LGBT Everyone.

“It’s important to speak up and show off, and be proud and visible. Because that representation is so important and visibility will change someone’s life.

“I feel like sometimes people are like, ‘We get it, you’re gay, you don’t have to keep talking about it.

“But actually, if that’s my legacy, I’m pretty proud of it.”


SISTERS LOVE WILL NOT GET AWAY

The Gerken Schofield sisters will maintain a united front as they compete against each other for Team GB in the women’s division.

Essex-born Leonie, 23, and Makayla, 22, will take part in the timed races over bumps in qualifying tomorrow.

Leonie Gerken Schofield is the more competitive older sister

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Leonie Gerken Schofield is the more competitive older sisterCredit: PA
Makayla is the real sister and can face her sister at the Winter Olympics

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Makayla is the real sister and can face her sister at the Winter OlympicsCredit: PA

Leonie’s twin brother Tom was also a skier but did not qualify for the Olympics.

When asked how they got from Chelmsford to China, Makayla said, “We used to go on ski holidays all over France with our family.

“Our mom and dad enjoyed it so much at Chatel that they decided to stay for the year.

“Then they think, ‘The kids are happy, they’re absolutely having fun, learning another language.

“And so we never went back. I was six years old when we first went there to live.”

The sisters’ success spurred each other to pursue glory.

“I would say Leonie is a lot more competitive than me,” Makayla said. I remember when we were kids and the first time I hit her, she was so angry.

“But as we got older, we became happier for each other.”

Leonie added: “When I see Makayla, my twin brother Tom doing well, I am very happy.

“If Makayla wins a medal, I’ll be on the moon.”


ELLIA WANTS A LATTE FANS

SPEEDSTER Ellia Smeding sponsored the long road to China thanks to the sweet smell of coffee beans.

The 23-year-old will be Britain’s first female long-distance speed skater at the Olympics in 42 years as she competes in the women’s 1,000 m and 1500 m events.

Cornelius Kersten and Ellia Smeding packed their own coffee to bring to Beijing

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Cornelius Kersten and Ellia Smeding packed their own coffee to bring to BeijingCredit: Getty

Kim Ferran and Mandy Horsepool represented England at the 1980 Lake Placid Games but across four events they were placed at the bottom of the table.

Smeding lives and competes in Heerenveen, Netherlands with her boyfriend Cornelius Kersten, who ended a 30-year wait for a British man in the event.

To help fund their travel and training throughout the season, the ingenious pair founded a coffee business called Brew 22.

And Oxfordshire-born Smeding said: “Cornelius went to Japan for the World Cup and he found these single filter cups.

“I’m really excited about it because we both love coffee.

“And in skate culture, people really enjoy having coffee together in their spare time.

“It was a hassle bringing everything to the World Cups so we found these filters and started working on this project.

We’ll be sure to bring a ton of coffee filters… we’ve received requests from other skaters

Ellia Smeding

“Along with family and friends, we started brainstorming ideas, thinking maybe we could start a web store and use the money to support skating and sponsor the Olympics. conference in 2022. And from there, it has emerged.

“We have help while we are away. My sister, family and friends would jump in and help.

“Hopefully nothing will go wrong while we are away. All will be fine.

“We definitely carry a bunch of coffee filters with us.

“It depends on how much weight we have left in our suitcases.

“We received requests for coffee from other skaters in the village.

“We’ll take as many as we can.”

https://www.thesun.co.uk/sport/17514752/team-gb-gus-kenworthy-winter-olympics-essex-sisters/ Team GB star Gus Kenworthy defends decision to beat USA at Winter Olympics as Essex sisters plan to face off

Ashley

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