It’s been a dream couple of weeks for current world No.1 freeskier Gus Kenworthy.
The American 19-year-old has won two Winter Games golds – in slopestyle and halfpipe – and he’s working with his Canadian buddy Robin Macdonald, 26, to cover the event for major US sports network ESPN.
Kenworthy, reigning 2010-11 world freeski champion, pipped Wanaka’s Jossi Wells – 2009-10 world champ – in the two events last week. Wells has recently returned to top-level competition after breaking his elbow in April.
Queenstown-based for the duration of the Games, Kenworthy and Macdonald have been filing regular reports, videos and blogs to ESPN’s website.
“It’s a fun thing to do on the side while I’ve been competing,” Kenworthy says. Snowboarder Macdonald adds: “We’ll be doing an overview of the Games and something on all the adventure activities available in Queenstown.”
Kenworthy entered the inaugural Winter Games in 2009. Second-time round, he says it’s a great opportunity for athletes to compete while they’re in the southern hemisphere for off-season training.
“It’s a good way to stay on top of your tricks and your runs.
“But there haven’t been many people watching the events – it’s mainly athletes and coaches.”
Macdonald agrees: “They really need to bring more people in – it sucks not having many people watching.”