Whoosh forward in the bobsled of your imagination to the 2038 Winter Olympics, and wonder: Will this scene from this past Wednesday even be viable? Will there be two gay dudes out on some Olympic Park in 2038, sitting in abutting chairs, relaying their Olympic experiences for NBC’s “Today” show? Will people wearing a nation’s gear, in this case the United States, happen by and gaze on and burble speculation such as, “That’s that figure skater? What’s the other one do?” Will one of the two guys answer some question about his mother and exclaim audibly across part of the park, as did Adam Rippon, “No worries, Mom! I’ve got you covered, girl! Thanks, Kelly! Love you!”
One thing does stand certain already for 2038: No two Americans ever again will become the first out, gay, competing Winter Olympians. That matter has been adjudicated. The winners are Rippon, the 28-year-old figure skater born in Scranton, Pa., and Gus Kenworthy, the 26-year-old freestyle skier born in Chelmsford, England, then transported to Colorado at age adorably 2.
“It can be a black guy, an Asian guy, a lesbian, a gay skater, anything in the world,” Kenworthy said, after the duo repaired to NBC’s “Green Room” hut for a dual interview with The Washington Post. “Anyone can be exactly who they want to be, and I think that more people will realize that and, in 20 years, it’s going to be like a complete rainbow . . .
“Mess,” Rippon said.
“In 20 years,” Kenworthy said, “the ‘Today’ show [interview] won’t even be a thing.”
“No,” Rippon chimed in.