Winter Olympics 2018: Gay skier Gus Kenworthy criticizes Mike Pence on 'Ellen'

Olympic freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy had some pointed words for Vice President Mike Pence in a Tuesday appearance on "Ellen." Kenworthy, who is openly gay, called the anti-LBGT Pence a "bad fit" to lead the United States' delegation at the Opening Ceremony in Pyeongchang on Friday and that "times have changed."

Here's Kenworthy's quote in full: 

It just seems such a strange choice for me, because I feel like we're in 2018, we're going into the Olympics – myself and Adam Rippon are the first two openly gay males competing in the [Winter] Olympics, and it's just incredible to see how times have changed, because of people like [Ellen] and athletes of the past.

So many people have paved the way, but then to have someone leading the delegation that's directly attacked the LGBT community, and [is part of] a cabinet in general that stands against us and has tried to do things to set us back.

It just seems like a bad fit, and I feel like the Olympics is all about inclusion and people coming together, and it seems like it's not really doing that.

Kenworthy was not out for the 2014 Games, when he competed in Sochi, a decision that he said he came to regret

Adam Rippon, who Kenworthy mentioned, is an openly gay figure skater, and he has blasted the decision to bring Pence already. Rippon was a bit more pointed in his statements in January. "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 said. "I wouldn't go out of my way to meet somebody like that."

Kenworthy has been critical of Pence in the past, telling USA Today last month: "I think it's not the person I would have expected, and I think it sends mixed messages because this is the first time we're seeing out U.S. Olympic athletes competing in the Winter Olympics, and then we have someone leading the delegation that doesn't support that, and doesn't support the LGBT community, and has spoken against it. I think it doesn't send the right message."

Rippon and Kenworthy are the first openly gay athletes to represent the United States in the Games.

Our Latest Stories