Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Extreme Adoption: Gus Kenworthy and the Sochi Pups

Your name and Job? Gus Kenworthy - I am a professional skier. I compete in slopestyle, halfpipe and big air. This year I took home the silver medal in the debut freeskiing event at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. 

What social causes are most important to you?
 I'm a big supporter of gay rights. People really bother me. I've never understood why people are opposed to gay marriage; to me it's less a gay rights issue as much as it is a human rights issue. 

What charity do you support – and how?
 I've been doing a bunch of stuff with the Humane Society and other animal adoption programs. My friend Robin and I brought home five stray dogs from Russia after the Olympics this year. The Humane Society International helped us in the process and since then I've done a few charity events for them. Meet and greets, coming to adoption events, that kind of stuff. 

·       Petco Dog Days of Summer – http://www.petco.com/petcopark/padreshome.aspx
·       Humane Society – http://www.humanesociety.org
·       Humane Society International - http://www.hsi.org  

Why do you have a passion for this, is there a personal tie?
My family dog growing up was one that we got from the shelter and I just feel that animal adoption is an amazing way to find your next pet. Why buy an animal when you can save one's life?

Is there a particular way you would want to encourage readers to be involved?
I guess I'd just like to encourage anyone looking to get a new dog or cat to please go take a look at your local shelters and to think adoption first. 

How would you define social responsibility?
To me social responsibility is using your influence over people in a positive way. Whether I like it or not I've become a role model for a lot of young skiers and young kids and I'd like to impact them in a good way. 

Quick list of tattoos/mention artists:
 I have the Olympic rings on the inside of my right bicep. The Olympics were a big milestone for me. The qualifying process was the most stressful month of my life and then to make it there, land the best run of my career during the final and to meet the stray puppies that would become my beloved dogs, was all a very surreal experience.   I have a tattoo that says "Hoot" on the inside of my left wrist. It's the name of my childhood best friend and I got it when I was 14-years-old, the year he passed away. 

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