Twitter / @guskenworthy

The kiss would have been unremarkable if it had been between two straight people. But the significance of an openly gay Olympian kissing his boyfriend on live TV was not lost on Gus Kenworthy.

The US freestyle skier hadn't realised NBC cameras were on him as he briefly pecked Matthew Wilkas at the bottom of a hill before a slopestyle qualifying run.

Kenworthy told Reuters:

I think [the] the only way to 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 at the Olympics kissing their boyfriend and I think if I had it would have made it a lot easier for me.

Wilkas, meanwhile, jokingly told TIME:

That was like a peck. We should have made out in front of people.

The actor continued:

I would imagine it would be a huge moment for a young gay kid to see an awesome athlete so open and proud of himself and not caring what anyone thinks of his sexuality.

Kenworthy spent his last Olympics in the closet, but 18 months on from winning a silver medal at the Sochi Olympics, he came out as gay in ESPN magazine in 2015.

Now, he is one of two openly gay men competing for Team USA at the Winter Olympics this year, along with figure skater Adam Rippon.

Yep, Kenworthy has had a pretty noteworthy Olympics so far and that's not just because of his skiing.

He injured his thumb last week – but, eager to find a silver lining, used the opportunity to take a dig at Vice President Mike Pence, who has been openly opposed to LGBT+ rights.

Twitter was very excited about the kiss.

Here's to Kenworthy and Wilkas.

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