Story highlightsKenworthy finished 12th in ski slopestyleAmerican kissed boyfriend live on TV

(CNN)It was a tender moment between two men in love, an openly gay Olympian kissing his boyfriend at the bottom of the hill during the ski slopestyle event.

The embrace was broadcast live on network television and has now become another notable occasion at a Winter Olympics which has been full of symbolism.

A first — NBC just showed Gus Kenworthy getting a kiss from his boyfriend Matt Wilkas on live TV at the @Olympics. https://t.co/WlAgM5edYb pic.twitter.com/5M3hP3kYCk

— Outsports (@outsports) February 18, 2018 Four years ago, Gus Kenworthy had wanted to share a kiss with his then boyfriend at the Sochi Winter Olympics. But having yet to reveal he was gay, the slopestyle silver medalist had second thoughts. He was not ready for that to be his coming-out-moment. But on a sun-kissed morning at the Phoenix Snow Park in Pyeongchang, the 26-year-old spotted his boyfriend Matthew Wilkas and the rest is LGBT history. “It was the tiniest kiss in the world. I could’ve made out with him had I known,” Wilkas joked with reporters, unaware of the immediate worldwide attention their embrace had garnered.Read More”I think it’s positive, I think it’s great exposure, a great thing for our community, but I also partly think, ‘what’s the big deal?'”READ: Winter Olympics day 9: As it happenedGus Kenworthy Gus Kenworthy Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsGus Kenworthy Hide Caption 1 of 31Nao KodairaNao Kodaira Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsNao KodairaHide Caption 2 of 31Oystein-Braaten slopestyle OlympicsOystein-Braaten slopestyle Olympics Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsHide Caption 3 of 31Ester LedeckaEster Ledecka Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsEster LedeckaHide Caption 4 of 31Marit BjoergenMarit Bjoergen Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsMarit BjoergenHide Caption 5 of 31Lizzy YarnoldLizzy Yarnold Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsLizzy YarnoldHide Caption 6 of 31Matthias MayerMatthias Mayer Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsMatthias MayerHide Caption 7 of 31Coy WireCoy Wire Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsCoy WireHide Caption 8 of 31Yuzuru HanyuYuzuru Hanyu Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsYuzuru HanyuHide Caption 9 of 31North Korean skaters Winter Olympics sketchNorth Korean skaters Winter Olympics sketch Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsHide Caption 10 of 31Michela MoioliMichela Moioli Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsMichela MoioliHide Caption 11 of 31Pierre VaultierPierre Vaultier Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsPierre VaultierHide Caption 12 of 31Mikaela ShiffrinMikaela Shiffrin Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsMikaela ShiffrinHide Caption 13 of 31Aksel Lund SvindalAksel Lund Svindal Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsAksel Lund SvindalHide Caption 14 of 31north korean illustrationnorth korean illustration Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsHide Caption 15 of 31Doubles luge sketchDoubles luge sketch Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsHide Caption 16 of 31Shaun WhiteShaun White Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsShaun WhiteHide Caption 17 of 31Chloe KimChloe Kim Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsChloe KimHide Caption 18 of 31Marcel HirscherMarcel Hirscher Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsMarcel HirscherHide Caption 19 of 31Adam RIpponAdam RIppon Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsAdam RIpponHide Caption 20 of 31Mirai NagasuMirai Nagasu Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsMirai NagasuHide Caption 21 of 31Red GerardRed Gerard Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsRed GerardHide Caption 22 of 31bloemen new sketchbloemen new sketch Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsHide Caption 23 of 31Shiva Keshavan Shiva Keshavan Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsShiva Keshavan Hide Caption 24 of 31Charlotte KallaCharlotte Kalla Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsCharlotte KallaHide Caption 25 of 31Shani DavisShani Davis Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsShani DavisHide Caption 26 of 31Gangnam Style sketchGangnam Style sketch Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsHide Caption 27 of 31Kim Yo Yong and US vice president Mike PenceKim Yo Yong and US vice president Mike Pence Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsKim Yo Yong and US vice president Mike PenceHide Caption 28 of 31Pita TaufatofuaPita Taufatofua Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsPita TaufatofuaHide Caption 29 of 31selfie sketchselfie sketch Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsHide Caption 30 of 31peace sketchpeace sketch Photos: The moments of the 2018 Winter Olympics — in drawingsHide Caption 31 of 31Gus KenworthyNao Kodaira speed skater Japan's OlympicsOystein-Braaten slopestyle Olympicsledecka sketchMarit Bjoergenyarnold sketchMatthias Mayer super G gold sketch OlympicsCoy Wire sketch Winter OlympicsYuzuru Hanyu Japan figre skating sketch OlympicsNorth Korean skaters Winter Olympics sketchMichaela Moioli snowboard cross Olympics sketch2Pierre Vaultier snowboard cross sketch OlympicsMikaela Shiffrin giant slalom gold winter olympicsAksel Lund Svindal Winter Olympics downhill Pyeongchang sketchnorth korean illustrationDoubles luge sketchShuan White sketch Winter Olympics gold medal Chloe Kim sketch Winter OlympicsMarcel Hirscher sketch Winter OlympicsAdam Rippon sketch Winter Olympicsmirai nagasu sketchRed Gerard Olympics cartoonbloemen new sketchshiva keshavan drawingCharlotte Kallashani davis sketchGangnam Style sketchKim Yo Jong and US Vice President Mike PencePita Taufatofua sketchselfie sketchpeace sketchKenworthy, competing with a broken thumb and suffering with a hematoma on his hip, finished 12th in a slopestyle final won by Norway’s Oystein Braaten. America’s Nick Goepper took silver and Canada’s Alex Beaulieu-Marchand bronze.It was not a champion performance by Kenworthy, but his display on the slopes perhaps matters little, because the British-born freestyle skier has already made a significant contribution to these Games. His influence has reached far beyond his sport. READ: Braaten wins Olympic men’s ski slopestyle gold Gus Kenworthy's boyfriend Matthew Wilkas holds the rainbow flag as he watches the action.Gus Kenworthy's boyfriend Matthew Wilkas holds the rainbow flag as he watches the action.Gus Kenworthy’s boyfriend Matthew Wilkas holds the rainbow flag as he watches the action.”I didn’t know that was a televised moment,” the 2014 silver medalist told reporters of the kiss.

No matter what @guskenworthy is a super talented athelete and also an inspiration to the LGBT+ community. I couldn’t be prouder of him. Seeing him being his 100% authentic self today while at the Olympics was emotional and incredible. :rainbow-flag::purple_heart:

— gus kenworthy stan (@GusKingworthy) February 18, 2018 “I think that’s amazing. That’s what I wanted to do at the last Olympics, to share a kiss with my boyfriend at the bottom. “To be able to do that, to give him a kiss, to have that affection broadcasted for the world is incredible.”The only way to really change perceptions, break down homophobia, break down barriers is through representation and that’s definitely not something I had as a kid. “I definitely didn’t see a gay athlete kiss his boyfriend and If I had it would’ve made it a lot easier for me.”Austria's Marcel Hirscher competes during the first run of the men's giant slalom. The Austrian dominated the men's giant slalom at the World Cup in Beaver Creek in December and took home his first gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.Austria's Marcel Hirscher competes during the first run of the men's giant slalom. The Austrian dominated the men's giant slalom at the World Cup in Beaver Creek in December and took home his first gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. Photos: Winter Olympics: Sunday, February 18Austria’s Marcel Hirscher competes during the first run of the men’s giant slalom. The Austrian dominated the men’s giant slalom at the World Cup in Beaver Creek in December and took home his first gold medal at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.Hide Caption 1 of 20France's Martin Fourcade, right, barely beats Germany's Simon Schempp to the finish line to win gold in the mass-start biathlon.France's Martin Fourcade, right, barely beats Germany's Simon Schempp to the finish line to win gold in the mass-start biathlon. Photos: Winter Olympics: Sunday, February 18France’s Martin Fourcade, right, barely beats Germany’s Simon Schempp to the finish line to win gold in the mass-start biathlon.Hide Caption 2 of 20Didrik Toenseth of Norway leads in the first leg of the men's 4x10km relay in cross-country skiing.Didrik Toenseth of Norway leads in the first leg of the men's 4x10km relay in cross-country skiing. Photos: Winter Olympics: Sunday, February 18Didrik Toenseth of Norway leads in the first leg of the men’s 4x10km relay in cross-country skiing.Hide Caption 3 of 20Japan's Nao Kodaira celebrates after setting a new Olympic record in the women's 500-meters speed skating event.Japan's Nao Kodaira celebrates after setting a new Olympic record in the women's 500-meters speed skating event. Photos: Winter Olympics: Sunday, February 18Japan’s Nao Kodaira celebrates after setting a new Olympic record in the women’s 500-meters speed skating event.Hide Caption 4 of 20Patrik Hersley, right, of Sweden, and Veli-Matti Savinainen of Finland get tangled up in the first period of their hockey game.Patrik Hersley, right, of Sweden, and Veli-Matti Savinainen of Finland get tangled up in the first period of their hockey game. Photos: Winter Olympics: Sunday, February 18Patrik Hersley, right, of Sweden, and Veli-Matti Savinainen of Finland get tangled up in the first period of their hockey game.Hide Caption 5 of 20Patricia Mangan of the United States starts a training run for the women's alpine skiing downhill.Patricia Mangan of the United States starts a training run for the women's alpine skiing downhill. Photos: Winter Olympics: Sunday, February 18Patricia Mangan of the United States starts a training run for the women’s alpine skiing downhill.Hide Caption 6 of 20A couple takes a selfie as the German bobsled duo, Nico Walther and Christian Poser, pass byA couple takes a selfie as the German bobsled duo, Nico Walther and Christian Poser, pass by Photos: Winter Olympics: Sunday, February 18A couple takes a selfie as the German bobsled duo, Nico Walther and Christian Poser, pass byHide Caption 7 of 20Oscar Wester of Sweden competes during the men's slopestyle freestyle skiing event. Wester topped the table with his second-round score of 95.40.Oscar Wester of Sweden competes during the men's slopestyle freestyle skiing event. Wester topped the table with his second-round score of 95.40. Photos: Winter Olympics: Sunday, February 18Oscar Wester of Sweden competes during the men’s slopestyle freestyle skiing event. Wester topped the table with his second-round score of 95.40.Hide Caption 8 of 20Manuel Feller of Austria crashes at the finish during the men's giant slalom in alpine skiing.Manuel Feller of Austria crashes at the finish during the men's giant slalom in alpine skiing. Photos: Winter Olympics: Sunday, February 18Manuel Feller of Austria crashes at the finish during the men’s giant slalom in alpine skiing.Hide Caption 9 of 20A woman's reflection can be seen as she watches a men's curling match.A woman's reflection can be seen as she watches a men's curling match. Photos: Winter Olympics: Sunday, February 18A woman’s reflection can be seen as she watches a men’s curling match.Hide Caption 10 of 20Antoine Adelisse of France competes in the men's slopestyle freestyle skiing.Antoine Adelisse of France competes in the men's slopestyle freestyle skiing. Photos: Winter Olympics: Sunday, February 18Antoine Adelisse of France competes in the men’s slopestyle freestyle skiing.Hide Caption 11 of 20Canadian fans watch two-man bobsleigh heats.Canadian fans watch two-man bobsleigh heats. Photos: Winter Olympics: Sunday, February 18Canadian fans watch two-man bobsleigh heats.Hide Caption 12 of 20The German team huddles around the net before their game against Norway during the men's ice hockey preliminary round.The German team huddles around the net before their game against Norway during the men's ice hockey preliminary round. Photos: Winter Olympics: Sunday, February 18The German team huddles around the net before their game against Norway during the men’s ice hockey preliminary round.Hide Caption 13 of 20Lindsey Vonn of the United States looks on during the alpine skiing women's downhill training.Lindsey Vonn of the United States looks on during the alpine skiing women's downhill training. Photos: Winter Olympics: Sunday, February 18Lindsey Vonn of the United States looks on during the alpine skiing women’s downhill training.Hide Caption 14 of 20Lukas Runggaldier of Italy soars through the air during training for the nordic combined competition.Lukas Runggaldier of Italy soars through the air during training for the nordic combined competition. Photos: Winter Olympics: Sunday, February 18Lukas Runggaldier of Italy soars through the air during training for the nordic combined competition.Hide Caption 15 of 20North Korean cheerleaders sing and wave during the men's giant slalom.North Korean cheerleaders sing and wave during the men's giant slalom. Photos: Winter Olympics: Sunday, February 18North Korean cheerleaders sing and wave during the men’s giant slalom.Hide Caption 16 of 20Finn Bilous, of New Zealand, gets up after crashing during the men's slopestyle freestyle skiing.Finn Bilous, of New Zealand, gets up after crashing during the men's slopestyle freestyle skiing. Photos: Winter Olympics: Sunday, February 18Finn Bilous, of New Zealand, gets up after crashing during the men’s slopestyle freestyle skiing.Hide Caption 17 of 20Alexander Bonsaksen and goalie Lars Haugen of Norway reach for the puck during the second period of the preliminary round of their hockey game against Germany.Alexander Bonsaksen and goalie Lars Haugen of Norway reach for the puck during the second period of the preliminary round of their hockey game against Germany. Photos: Winter Olympics: Sunday, February 18Alexander Bonsaksen and goalie Lars Haugen of Norway reach for the puck during the second period of the preliminary round of their hockey game against Germany.Hide Caption 18 of 20Luca De Aliprandini of Italy crashes during the men's giant slalom.Luca De Aliprandini of Italy crashes during the men's giant slalom. Photos: Winter Olympics: Sunday, February 18Luca De Aliprandini of Italy crashes during the men’s giant slalom.Hide Caption 19 of 20Christoffer Svae of Norway gives instructions to a team member during a curling round-robin session.Christoffer Svae of Norway gives instructions to a team member during a curling round-robin session. Photos: Winter Olympics: Sunday, February 18Christoffer Svae of Norway gives instructions to a team member during a curling round-robin session.Hide Caption 20 of 2008 Winter Olympics 021832 Winter Olympics 2018 15km biathlon28 Winter Olympics 2018 mens cross country35 Winter Olympics 0218 w 500 speedskate34 Winter Olympics 2018 men hockey27 Winter Olympics 2018 womens downhill33 Winter Olympics 2018 two man bobsled19 Winter Olympics 021805 Winter Olympics 021826 Winter Olympics 2018 mens curling fan18 Winter Olympics 0218 RESTRICTED31 Winter Olympics 2018 bobsleigh fans25 Winter Olympics 021822 Winter Olympics 021830 Winter Olympics 2018 nordic combined23 Winter Olympics 021809 Winter Olympics 021824 Winter Olympics 021806 Winter Olympics 021821 Winter Olympics 0218Kenworthy came out in 2015, a year after winning silver at the Sochi Games. He has spoken at length about initially fearing losing sponsors and friends. He has since emerged as a prominent voice in the LGBT community, has more well-known sponsors than ever before and in 2017 was awarded a Visibility Award by the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT rights advocacy group. “We’re here. We’re queer. Get used to it,” Kenworthy, one of a number of openly gay athletes competing at the Games, tweeted with a picture of him and his teammate Adam Rippon, another openly gay Olympian. When he announced Saturday he had a broken thumb, Kenworthy also took a swipe at US Vice President Mike Pence. “Broke my thumb yesterday in practice,” he wrote. “It won’t stop me from competing (obvi) but it does prevent me from shaking Pence’s hand so… Silver linings!” he tweeted.Kenworthy’s open contempt of Pence stems over the Vice President’s record on same-sex marriage and LGBT issues.READ: Kenworthy’s silver lining at having a broken thumb

My Seoul mate! So happy to have my bf, my family and some amazing friends here in Korea to cheer me on! Tomorrow's the big day (tonight for y'all in the US) and win or lose I just wanna thank you all SO much for your support and encouragement. I wouldn't be here without you. pic.twitter.com/XwqWKldwbN

— Gus Kenworthy (@guskenworthy) February 17, 2018 As Kenworthy trudged through a media warren following his disappointing display, he had already gained perspective. Though was to be no glory on the slopes, at least he was no longer hiding his true self. “I’m bummed but I’m not sulking I’m not crying,” he said. “I’m really proud to be here and being out at these Olympics has meant the world to me, just getting to be myself and be authentic.”Afterwards a forlorn-looking Kenworthy met with his friends and boyfriend near the bottom of the course. Throughout the competition they had been waving rainbow flags and the Stars and Stripes.Some wore jumpers with USGAY embossed on the front, while Wilkas held aloft a rainbow flag with ‘We love you Gus’ inked on it. Among the Kenworthy crowd was Tyler Oakley, a YouTube star, television host and LGBT activist. The American described Kenworthy and Wilkas’ kiss as a “moment to celebrate.””At a time when his home country has officials that don’t celebrate that type of love, it’s important, it means something,” he added. As fans filtered out of the park Kenworthy was still being asked for selfies. Even with no new Olympic medal to hang around his neck, this eloquent skier’s voice will still be heard.

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