Photo: Dylan Perlot for GAY TIMES Magazine

Gus Kenworthy urged the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to reconsider awarding the Games to countries with anti-LGBTQ+ stances.

The athlete shared that he was gay in October 2015 and has since frequently used his platform to advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.

On 19 February, the 30-year-old made a statement after participating in his final three ski events.

As well as confirming his retirement, the American Horror Story star asked the IOC to consider a country’s position on human rights before allowing it to host the Olympic Games.

“I am absolutely a fan of Olympics,” he explained after the men’s freeski halfpipe final. “I also think, that being said, because it’s the world stage and everyone is watching, there is an opportunity to create positive change and the IOC could help dictate that change by pushing on certain issues.”

The decision to allow Beijing to host the Winter Olympics has been heavily criticised, particularly because of its alleged treatment of its minority Uyghur population – something China has strongly denied.

This resulted in diplomatic boycotts from the likes of the UK and the USA, with the latter accusing China of genocide.

“Those issues are human rights issues,” Kenworthy added.

The 30-year-old joined Team Great Britain for his third Olympic appearance in Beijing this year.

It marked the American Horror Story star’s first time representing the country after previously competing on Team USA, with his eligibility to do so coming from the fact he was born in England and has an English mother.

“When there’s human rights and the country’s stance on LGBT, those issues should be taken into consideration by the IOC,” Kenworthy continued.

Although homosexuality is legal in China, same-sex marriage is not recognised and being LGBTQ+ still faces a lot of stigma in the region.

The IOC has previously stated that it cannot interfere with attitudes or laws in a sovereign state, but did commit to protecting all those participating in the Games as a condition in the host contract.