Many sport fans feel a certain amount of emotion when they watch Olympic events, but as Peter Kenworthy ’77 watched the ski slopestyle event on February 13 from his home in Telluride, Colorado, he was a bit more invested than others. His 22-year-old son, Gus Kenworthy, was about to win a medal in the brand new Olympic event.
Peter said, “When he performed so well, and then stood on the podium with the silver medal, I felt a combination of relief, gratitude, excitement and joy. Mostly, I was pleased that he was able to withstand the pressure and the publicity and showcase both his talent and his character.”
Though Peter was thrilled to celebrate his son’s Olympic medal, he said he felt even more pressure when his son was trying to qualify for the Olympics. “Once he actually made it on to one of the teams, there was a vast sense of relief,” he said. “If he did well, it would be great; but, if he didn't, he would still have the benefit of being an Olympian and having an Olympic experience.”
In addition to his newfound fame for winning an Olympic medal, Gus Kenworthy has received a considerable amount of attention—including via Twitter, where he now has more than 100,000 followers—for his efforts to adopt five stray dogs he discovered in Sochi. “Kenworthy's medal in some ways took a backseat to his decision to adopt four puppies,” wrote CBS News.
Peter moved to Telluride in 1993 (when Gus was one-year-old) and all of his children are avid skiers. He is the executive director of Mountainfilm in Telluride. The Mountainfilm Festival has been shown at Dartmouth for several years, including in 2012, when Peter visited the Hopkins Center for the Arts to host the traveling film festival.