Dear Gus, You’re No Johnny

February 2018, it’s finally that time again – the Winter Olympics, this year being held in Pyeongchang. This is a time of international unity, healthy competition, celebrating accomplishment, and overcoming the odds. We were able to gain enough trust in the nation of South Korea to host a plethora of athletes from all over the world next to the most brutal dictatorship in the modern day. Russian athletes had the tenacity to band together and represent themselves individually, having been stripped of their privilege to represent their home country due to circumstances beyond their control. We got to witness the first women’s Jamaican bobsled team, which followed the legacy of the men’s Jamaican bobsled (or “billsled”, as referenced by some) team that debuted at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary, Alberta. The Nigerian women’s bobsled team defied all odds and became the first African team to participate in the sport at the Olympic level. Who could forget Czech snowboarder Ester Ledecka, taking home the gold in alpine skiing, and who was so unprepared for a medal that she neglected makeup and used a pair of borrowed skis? We can all appreciate the hardships that Olympics athletes endure: the years of training, the horrible coaches, the injuries, the 4:30 AM trips to the gym, the adaptation of competing at different altitudes and in different time zones. It is quite clear: the Olympics are about sacrifice, discipline, and accomplishment, and having the privilege to represent your home country for all of your labors. The problem with the Olympics is that some people involved still think it is 2010, and that the Olympics are the perfect platform to coach people’s minds and guilt complexes. The Leftist media has hopped on this bandwagon and proven that, once again, they are straining for relevancy.

This is leading to, of course, Gus Kentworthy. Gus Kentworthy is an American skier who has gained significant notoriety amongst the Olympic circuit as well as the social media realm for being an athlete who also happens to be gay. As of February 22, 2018, the three most viewed videos of Gus Kentworthy relative to the 2018 Olympics are Gus complaining about Vice President Mike Pence on The Ellen Show at 340,983 views, Gus discussing posing naked on a mountain also on The Ellen Show at 182,000 views, and Gus’ Olympic and personal journey of his homosexuality at 166,000 views. Now, the problem with this is that, under no circumstances should Gus’ performance as an athlete be tampered by his sexual preference, just as his favorite color or model of car should not influence his performance as an athlete. Most of the United States is in support of gay rights, with 62% supporting gay marriage as of 2017 according to Pew Research, and as such it isn’t breaking any new ground to give Gus so much media coverage. As of 2015, gay marriage is legal in all parts if the United States and now that the goal has been accomplished, it’s time for us to acknowledge the victory and move on: there aren’t any significant barriers to gay rights any longer. Gus should be viewed and displayed for one thing and one thing only: his skill as an Olympic athlete. He has clearly worked very hard to accomplish that goal, and the majority of people who tune in to NBC to see their country represented don’t want to see a puff piece that wouldn’t look out of place in The Guardian – the want to see their country defying the odds, working harder than everyone else, and taking home medals. In Gus’ case, there are no longer any odds to defy, and Gus and his sponsors acting like there still are odds to defy is both an insult to our intelligence and an insult to the social strides our country has taken; and perhaps most unforgivable, it is an insult to all the work Gus has done to become a successful athlete.

Let’s look at a reasonable comparison – veteran Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir, from my own home of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. No one needed dedicated, sponsored videos to know that Johnny Weir was gay. No one needed propaganda shoved down his or her throat to know that Johnny most likely had a very difficult time growing up in a highly conservative, Christian area of Pennsylvania. The reason we didn’t need this is because Johnny Weir was at the Olympics. We knew he endured years and years, the better part of his life, training and disciplining to be the best figure skater he could possibly be. Johnny didn’t have his success handed to him, especially not growing up in Lancaster Pennsylvania, where natives have a work ethic that reaches such behemoth proportions that it has its own name. Johnny defied the odds by showcasing his talent, winning medals, and letting his actions speak for themselves – he certainly didn’t rely on his sexual preference as a crutch to gain media attention and social brownie points.

Johnny has even taken the leap to express his opinions about the gay agenda in sports, often stating opinions largely unpopular within the gay community. After a joke made at his expense related to his homosexuality at the 2010 Winter Olympics, his response was, “I’ve heard worse in bathrooms.”. When first approached about his sexuality, Weir’s response was classy and appropriate, “…it’s not a part of my sport and it’s private,” Weir responded, “I can sleep with whomever I choose and it doesn’t affect what I do on the ice.” In 2013 there was a proposed ban on the Sochi Olympic games due to Russia’s anti-gay laws, a ban that Weir opposed and suffered subsequent backlash, to which he responded that the Olympics are not the place to make a political statement.

Let’s look at Johnny Weir through a similar lens that we used to look at Gus. Johnny’s Olympic debut was in 2006, at the Winter Olympics in Turino, Italy. While the data may be skewed due to Weir still being in the closet during the 2006 Olympics, he was nonetheless iconic. As of February 22, 2018 the most viewed videos of Johnny Weir relative to the 2006 Winter Olympics are his “My Way” performance at 427,000 views, an interview about his success within figure skating and his domestic gay life at 316,000 views, and a press conference related to his “…I’ve heard worse in bathrooms,” comment at 303,000 views.

The difference between the portrayal of Gus and Johnny is that Gus’ display is nothing short of vulgar and doesn’t endear him to the last remaining percentage of Americans who don’t support gay marriage. We’re bombarded with interviews and segments, featuring people like Gus’ mother, meant to shame us for feeling annoyed when we wanted to turn on the TV and see some sports, but instead our faces are being shoved into someone’s personal life against our will. People like Gus make the world feel that the standard for excellence is dropping, that your success is determined by your level of victimhood and the amount of screen time the Leftist media will devote to your victimhood. Johnny didn’t take the bait, Gus did.

The solution here is very simple: Gus needs to stop giving in to Leftist media propaganda and focus on being a good athlete. He certainly has the skill level to do so, considering that he made it to the Olympics. He should stop using his homosexuality as a crutch to climb the social Olympic ladder, and the mainstream media should stop using him as their crutch to gain relevancy in a world that is quickly losing both interest and trust in them. We live in a free world, he has all the rights he could possibly imagine – even the right to pose naked and kiss Adam Rippon on national television. We don’t dislike your homosexuality, we dislike that the Leftist culture thinks that we’re so backwards that we need to be forced into accepting this “new” phenomenon, when in reality, most of us accepted it years ago.

Gus Kentworthy and his relentless platform is just more proof that Leftist power is dwindling. They’re straining for relevancy, they know emotions work, and so they praise someone who has a far-reaching platform. Their apparent belief that we are still so backwards that we need to be forced into accepting gays says far more about them than it does about us: which is that the Leftist media cares only about the gay community for as long as they are a malleable tool. If the Leftist media cared about gays, they wouldn’t be exploiting them or their struggles for ratings, they wouldn’t be portraying them as weak victims who are so fragile they can’t stand criticism; in other words, they wouldn’t be spreading lies about the LGBTQ community.

In short, we need to get Leftist propaganda out of the world event that is the least appropriate place for propaganda – a sporting event comprised of the toughest, most hard-working, best trained athletes in the world. These people endured struggles far beyond social issues, and we should view them as athletes who pushed through blood, sweat, and tears to be the very best. Gus, you’re no Johnny.


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