Openly gay winter Olympian says silver lining in broken thumb is not having to shake Mike Pence’s hand

Gus Kenworthy, a US freestyle skier, has celebrated the fact that breaking his thumb means he will not have to shake the hand of Mike Pence, who lead the US delegation to the Winter Olympics.

The Olympian, who came out as gay in 2015, tweeted: "Broke my thumb yesterday in practice. It won’t stop me from competing (obvi) but it does prevent me from shaking Pence’s hand so… Silver linings!

"Will be giving my teammates (and literally everyone else) an enthusiastic "thumbs up!" of encouragement the rest of the trip."

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The USA has made history by sending its first two openly gay winter Olympians to compete this year; but they both have had public feuds with the Vice President, who has frequently voiced anti-LGBT views and supported legislation which allows for discrimination against LGBT people.

This has caused somewhat of a headache for Pence, who reportedly asked to meet Adam Rippon, an openly gay US figure skater, and was publicly turned down.

"If it were before my event, I would absolutely not go out of my way to meet somebody who I felt has gone out of their way to not only show that they aren’t a friend of a gay person but that they think that they’re sick," Rippon told USA Today.

The Vice President attempted to reconcile with the figure skater, writing: "I want you to know we are FOR YOU. Don’t let fake news distract you. I am proud of you and ALL OF OUR GREAT athletes and my only hope for you and all of #TeamUSA is to bring home the gold. Go get ‘em!"

Adam Rippon had a public feud with Mike PenceCredit:
 Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Rippon responded by saying "Mike Pence doesn’t stand for anything that I really believe in", and explained he would only meet the Vice President if he approached the conversation with an open mind. 

The Olympian also said he would only meet him after the competition was over.

He explained: "“He seems more mild-mannered than Donald Trump.But I don’t think the current administration represents the values that I was taught growing up."

Both Kenworthy and Rippon have said they will  skip the reception at the White House when President Donald Trump invites Team USA after the Olympics.