Gus Kenworthy has a lot on his shoulders these days. But not dandruff.
With the Olympic Winter Games coming up next month in PyeongChang, South Korea, Head & Shoulders has named the U.S. freeskier its newest ambassador.
“As the first openly gay action sports athlete, Kenworthy will be featured within the brand’s Shoulders of Greatness campaign, which highlights all of the things people carry on their shoulders—pride, pressure, expectations—and how that motivates them to overcome any challenges and focus on achieving greatness,” reads an official statement from the brand. “Head & Shoulders celebrates how Kenworthy carries pride in himself, his country, his family and his community, allowing him to achieve greatness as he looks ahead toward PyeongChang.”
“I’m thrilled to be part of the Shoulders of Greatness campaign as it resonates with my journey,” Kenworthy says. “Before coming out, I was carrying so much pressure that I put on myself. It wasn’t until I made the decision to come out that I was able to release that weight off my shoulders and find the confidence to be myself, which allowed me to perform my best.”
“Gus is the embodiment of Shoulders of Greatness,” adds Head & Shoulders brand director John Brownlee. “He has pushed through personal and social barriers to compete at the highest level… and at his personal best. We are so excited to be on this journey with him at the upcoming Olympic Winter Games, and we know he will inspire others to shoulder their own greatness, no matter what obstacles they face.”
“You may have already spotted this on TV but I am SO excited to finally be able to share my Head & Shoulders commercial with y’all!,” Kenworthy wrote on social media. “Holding up those rainbow colors on national TV makes me feel PROUD!”
He will appear in the Head & Shoulders TV spots, as well as in-store and digital ads, through February. Additional campaign content will explore his journey as an openly gay athlete.
The 26-year-old role model also fittingly appears as a superhero as part of United Airlines’ new Olympic campaign. He recently competed on Ultimate Expedition, a YouTube Red reality series in which celebrities attempt to summit Mount Tocllaraju, one of the highest and most dangerous peaks in the Peruvian Andes.
The photogenic freeskier won the silver at the 2014 Sochi Games. He finds out January 22 if he officially qualifies for Pyeongchang, but he has already confirmed that he will not accept a White House invitation from Donald Trump: “I have no interest in faking support.”