This gay skier's Olympic journey is a lesson for anyone struggling with their identity.

Four years ago, Olympic freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy hit the slopes in Sochi, Russia, with purpose, eventually landing on the podium with a silver medal. But he wasn’t completely satisfied.

After coming out in 2015, Kenworthy, 26, revealed to ESPN magazine the main reason he was disappointed with his performance: “I never got to be proud of what I did in Sochi because I felt so horrible about what I didn’t do. I didn’t want to come out as the silver medalist from Sochi. I wanted to come out as the best freeskier in the world.”

All Olympians dream of winning gold medals, but to Kenworthy, it was about more than marking personal athletic accomplishment. He’s eager to represent the LGBTQ community in America on the top of the podium as an openly gay man.


This year in Pyeongchang, Kenworthy may finally get to do just that. Today, he’s embracing his role as a representative of the LGBTQ community, competing in front of the entire world. And he’s primed for a gold medal.

Kenworthy in a ski jump. Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images.

In January, Kenworthy spoke with Reuters, saying he feels more confident than ever, in part because he’s able to be his authentic self.

“I am more open with everyone in my life and I think it just translates into me being able to ski a little bit more freely and not have so much to focus on and worry about.”

However, considering he’s one of only two openly gay male athletes to compete for Team USA in the Winter Olympics, he’s also probably feeling the weight of responsibility.

Kenworthy joins 28-year-old openly gay figure skater Adam Rippon this year and both athletes have welcomed this historic opportunity to use their platforms in positive and effective ways, speaking out about the importance of inclusion and diversity at the Olympics — and also in everyday life.

“I’m representing myself and my country on the world stage,” Rippon told USA Today. “I have a lot of respect for this opportunity. What makes America great is that we’re all so different. It’s 2018, and being an openly gay man and an athlete, that is part of the face of America now.”

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“I’ve got more eyeballs on me,” Kenworthy told the Associated Press a couple of days before the start of the Winter Olympics. “My platform’s a lot bigger. I signed a bunch of Olympic sponsors, and I have the LGBTQ audience watching me, and I want to do right by them.”

In line with that, he started a new national campaign with Head & Shoulders called “Love Over Bias,” and he appears in a television commercial while proudly wearing a rainbow flag over his shoulders.

“I got to hold a pride flag in a national campaign for the first time in history and that’s just an amazing feeling,” he said on "Good Morning America" while promoting the campaign.

“It’s so much better on the other side, and living your life honestly and authentically is such an important thing that nothing should get in the way of that.”

Gus Kenworthy. Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images.

Being known as a “gay athlete” and even as “the gay skier” doesn’t bother Kenworthy one bit. They are labels he’s not afraid of wearing, and he has no problem sharing his view on the subject.

“I’m definitely ‘The Gay Skier’ now, and that’s OK,” Kenworthy told the Associated Press. “I knew I was stepping into that role when I did it. In some ways, I don’t care that that’s the label that sticks. I took the step to come out publicly and I wear the badge proudly.”

For decades, LGBTQ athletes have struggled for acceptance in and out of locker rooms. Being out could mean losing sponsors, fans, friends, teammates, family, and in some cases, even a roster spot.

Like so many athletes before him, Kenworthy dealt with many of the same struggles. He performed at the highest level of competition while carrying the burden, stress, and heaviness of being in the closet. But he decided that being true to himself as both an athlete and a gay man far outweighed the risks.

As the world watches the Olympics unfold, there will plenty of young LGBTQ viewers and athletes among them. Kenworthy knows this. And he’s ready to show them that it’s more than OK to be true to who you are — it’s the best way to achieve your dreams.

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In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

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Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino


Growing your own organic herbs, vegetables, and fruits is a great way to eat healthier and, at the same time, do something good for the environment. Unfortunately, a lot of people assume they can't grow a garden because they don't have enough space, time, or know-how. But that's not actually the case. Or at least, it's not any more. Thanks to an amazing high tech gadget called the Click & Grow Smart Gardens, these days anyone can grow their own organic produce with the touch of a button, no matter where they live.

Fully Automated Gardening? Yes Please

What exactly is the Smart Garden? Click & Grow calls it the Keurig of plants. And that's actually a pretty great description.

The Click & Grow Smart Garden is a fully automated gardening system that lets anybody grow herbs, fruits, vegetables, and flowers year round, in any environment, with absolutely no effort or horticultural knowledge. Like a Keurig coffee maker, all you have to do is insert a pod, fill the tank with water, and press the button. Technology takes care of the rest.

Click & Grow has over 50 different pre-seeded 100-percent biodegradable plant pods to choose from, including tomatoes, peppers, arugula, green leaf lettuce, basil, chives, cilantro, petunias, pansies, lavender, and so much more. You can also buy "blank" smart soil pods and use your own seeds to create your own custom plant pods. The possibilities are almost endless.

You don't have to know anything about gardening to use the Click & Grow Smart Garden. However, if you'd like to learn, the Click & Grow companion app can make you a plant expert. Simply check in with the app daily and it will explain exactly what's happening during each stage of the growing cycle.

How Does It Work?

The Click & Grow Smart Garden uses advanced horticultural technology specifically designed to speed up growth and maximize yields. This technology includes:

  • Biodome Sprouting: lids cover the seed pods during the initial growing phase, creating a greenhouse effect that induces faster sprouting.
  • Grow Lights: professional grade LED grow lights with enhanced light spectra bring about faster germination. These lights turn on and off automatically to mimic the natural light cycle, making sure plants get the exact amount and type of light they need to thrive.
  • Automatic watering: sensors detect moisture levels and automatically water your plants when needed, with each reservoir tank refill lasting about one month.
  • Smart Soil: instead of regular soil, Smart Garden seed pods use a proprietary nano material created by Click & Grow. This material keeps soil pH balanced, automatically releases nutrients in sync with the plant life cycle, and contains micro oxygen pockets to give plants ample breathing room and nutrients when the smart soil is wet.

All this tech wouldn't be very appealing if it cost an arm and a leg to run. Luckily, the Click & Grow Smart Garden is incredibly efficient. It uses 95-percent less water than traditional agriculture, while producing faster growing cycles without toxic pesticides or fertilizers. Meanwhile, the Smart Garden's efficient LED grow lights cost roughly $5 to $15 per year to operate. That's probably less than you'd spend on gas going back and forth to the nursery to get supplies for a traditional backyard garden.

Of course, not every prospective indoor gardener has the same needs. Some people just want a minimalist countertop unit to grow their favorite herbs. Others want a full-blown indoor farm. That's why Click & Grow created several different Smart Garden models with variable grow capacities.

Click & Grow Smart Garden 3

As the name suggests, the Smart Garden 3 is capable of growing three plants at a time. Measuring just 12 inches wide and 5 inches deep, with a max height of 19 inches, this model fits almost anywhere. That makes it perfect for anyone with extremely limited space, or who isn't quite ready for a bigger indoor garden.

At just $99.95, the Smart Garden 3 is the most affordable of Click & Grow's automated gardening systems. It's available in four different colors and comes with the companion app as well as a complementary set of three basil plant pods.

Click & Grow Smart Garden 27

For those who live by the motto "go big or go home" there's the Smart Garden 27. Though, in this case, "big" is a relative term. Consisting of three Smart Garden 9 units plus a stylish pine plant stand, the Smart Garden 27 is capable of growing a whopping 27 plants at a time. However, it barely takes up any room. The entire system has a footprint of 26 inches by 10 inches, and it stands just 47 inches tall. So it's roughly the size of a small bookcase.

The Smart Garden 27 is certainly a more significant investment than the Smart Garden 3. However, if your household consumes a lot of fresh organic product, it won't take long for the Smart Garden 27 to start paying for itself. It's available in three different colors and comes with the companion app as well as a complementary set of nine basil plant pods, nine lettuce plant pods, and nine tomato plant pods.

Good For You AND The Planet

Eating local and organic helps you reduce your carbon footprint and cut back on the amount of harmful chemicals that wind up in our watershed. And that used to be pretty expensive. But thanks to the Click & Grow Smart Garden, we can all grow affordable organic produce right in our own homes with just the touch of a button.

If that sounds good to you, click here to learn more about Click & Grow Smart Gardens, today.

*Upworthy may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.

True

In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

It sounds like a ridiculous, sensationalist headline, but it's real. In Cheshire County, New Hampshire, a transsexual, anarchist Satanist has won the GOP nomination for county sheriff. Aria DiMezzo, who refers to herself as a "She-Male" and whose campaign motto was "F*** the Police," ran as a Republican in the primary. Though she ran unopposed on the ballot, according to Fox News, she anticipated that she would lose to a write-in candidate. Instead, 4,211 voters filled in the bubble next to her name, making her the official Republican candidate for county sheriff.

DiMezzo is clear about why she ran—to show how "clueless the average voter is" and to prove that "the system is utterly and hopelessly broken"—stances that her win only serves to reinforce.

In a blog post published on Friday, DiMezzo explained how she had never tried to hide who she was and that anyone could have looked her up to see what she was about, in addition to pointing out that those who are angry with her have no one to blame but themselves:

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via GoFundMe

The wildfires that have ravaged the west coast over the past two months have burned millions of acres, claimed over 30 lives, and forced thousands to live in evacuation shelters.

The fires have also caused unimaginable damage to the area's wildlife.

Critical populations of endangered species and native habitats may take years to recover.

"Some of these places we set aside may be fundamentally impacted by climate change and may not be able to come back," Amy Windrope, deputy director of Washington's Department of Fish and Wildlife," said according to The New York Times. "That's just a reality."

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