Winter Olympics 2018: Gay skier celebrates breaking thumb as he won’t have to shake Mike Pence’s hand

The vice-president is at the games as leader of the US delegation in South Korea

Jack Austin@jackaustin_1
Friday 16 February 2018 09:11
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Pence is in South Korea leading the US delegation
Pence is in South Korea leading the US delegation

An American skier has celebrated news of a broken thumb at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang as it means he will no longer have to shake the hand of Donald Trump’s vice-president, Mike Pence.

Gus Kenworthy, a freestyle skier and one of only two openly gay male athletes competing for the US, injured himself in training on Thursday but used the opportunity to make clear his thoughts on Pence, who has been open in his opposition to LGBT+ rights.

He tweeted: “Broke my thumb yesterday in practice. It won’t stop me from competing (obvi) but it does prevent me from shaking Pence’s hand so… Silver linings! Will be giving my teammates (and literally everyone else) an enthusiastic ‘thumbs up’ of encouragement the rest of the trip.”

Pence is in South Korea to lead the US delegation at the Winter Olympics and was present at the opening ceremony on Sunday and Kenworthy has previously revealed how he believed that to be a “strange choice”.

“To have somebody leading the delegation that [has] directly attacked the LGBTQ community ... just seems like a bad fit,” he said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month. “I feel like the Olympics is all about inclusion and people coming together, and it seems like it’s not really doing that.”

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