Openly gay athletes make history at 2018 Olympics

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PYEONGCHANG, SOUTH KOREA -

Two American Olympians are making history at the Winter Games this year in Pyeongchang, South Korea, as the only two openly gay athletes on Team USA.

Freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy says he was too scared to show a public display of affection for his boyfriend after winning silver four years ago.

"There are so many people in different parts of the world that face jail time, death, and the fact that this kiss was beamed into their television is incredible to me," he says. 

Figure skater Adam Rippon took a political stand against Vice President Mike Pence, declining to meet with him at the games. Pence has been a longtime opponent of gay rights.

"I could even get emotional thinking about it. But I've gotten so many messages from young kids all over the country that my story has resonated with them and it's incredibly powerful," Rippon says.

Veteran sports journalist Christine Brennan has covered 18 Olympics and says the games give athletes an unparalleled platform with a rich history of cultural milestones.

"In 1968 you had the black power salute, and of course now we have Adam and Gus - openly gay athletes talking about their lives," she says. "Fifty years from now people will be looking back and talking about Adam and Gus."

Kenworthy says he hopes to convince other gay athletes that there is no reason to hide anymore.

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