National Dog Day: Gus Kenworthy chats about Autotrader calendar, dog rescue and more

Gus and Birdie. Credit Jen Rosenstein
Gus and Birdie. Credit Jen Rosenstein /
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Gus and Birdie 3. Credit Jen Rosenstein
Gus and Birdie 3. Credit Jen Rosenstein /

Olympian Gus Kenworthy talks about his plans for the future and dealing with separation from his doggo.

Dog O’Day – Have you dealt with separation anxiety when you’re away for extended periods of time?

Gus Kenworthy – Um….yeah. Well, I have separation anxiety and I definitely want to be with her, okay?! [chuckles] She’s like a very well adjusted dog, and when I’m gone she stays with my boyfriend, and they’re very connected as well, so it’s nice that she’s able to have that, and it’s pretty rare that we’re both away, and that’s definitely hard, both for her and for us, but usually when I’m gone for traveling or training or competing, she’s still got one of us at home.

That’s good. And being a professional athlete, how important is that for you to kind of be an advocate for important causes in your life, like dog adoption or other things that you’re passionate about?

Yeah, I think that being an athlete, or really anyone that has a platform, and everyone has a platform of some size when it’s elevated and you’re able to reach more people, it’s so important to advocate for causes that are important and near and dear to your heart. An animal adoption is one of those causes for me, so I love being able to speak about it and promote animal rescue, and yeah, just trying to be…a role model for anyone that may be following me in any of the areas that are important to me – LGBT rights and LGBT representation in sports, animal adoption – all of it.

Yeah, those are all important things. Are you making a run for Beijing next year?

Yeah, I am, I’ll be competing in Beijing [for Great Britain this time]. We’ve already had a lot of our qualifying events over this past year, and I’m looking pretty good to be skiing there, it’s gonna be my third and final Olympics, so I’m looking forward to it.

Are you an athlete, too? I see a lot of medals on your wall.

They’re mostly my brother’s [aspiring Paralympian in archery, air rifle shooting or powerlifting], but I do compete in some stuff, yeah.

Very cool.

And so this’ll be your final Olympics – what do you hope to continue doing in the future beyond that?

Well, I’d like to do some hosting on camera, I’ve already done a bit of that, and potentially acting, so I’ve been auditioning here and there, and working on getting better in that skill, but it’s also presented a lot of cool opportunities – I just got to be at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics for NBC, doing commentary for them. I’d love to be able to continue doing stuff like that, and hopefully auditioning and acting when I can…I don’t know, I guess we’ll see how that works out, it’s kind of the big unknown right now, but I’m hopeful about it.

That was neat seeing those segments in Tokyo; I imagine with the COVID lockdown there weren’t that many people out walking their dogs, things like that.

Yeah, no. It was definitely a surreal experience. A lot of people were like, “How was Tokyo?” and it was so wonderful, but also….I didn’t really get to see Tokyo, like, at all. I didn’t really go into the city, I didn’t really eat at restaurants, we were pretty much confined to the actual hotel that we were staying at and the Olympic venues. And so I had a great time and got to see a ton of incredible Olympic moments, but it was hardly a vacation. [laughs]

Next. Olympic diver Tom Daley knits dog jumper after winning gold. dark

Again, the calendar can be found at, and Gus and Birdie’s adventures can be found on Instagram at @GusKenworthy and @B_Pups, respectively, while Dog O’Day is on Instagram at @DogODayFS and on Twitter at @DogODay1.