Sports Power Couple Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird Engaged

Monday November 2, 2020

Megan Rapino (left) and Sue Bird (right)
Megan Rapino (left) and Sue Bird (right)   (Source:Elaine Thompson/AP)

Sports power couple Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird are engaged to be married after four years together, reports People Magazine.

Bird announced the news with a simple photo on her Instagram that shows Rapinoe slipping a ring onto Bird's finger as Bird stands in a pool.

Bird posted the photo without text, but well-wishers quickly took to social media to respond, reported NBC News. Bird's basketball team, the Seattle Storm, posted a photo of Rapinoe and Bird with the words "Ring Season," adding, "Congratulations to THE power couple on their engagement!"

The U.S. Women's National Team, which Rapinoe led to a World Cup victory this year - Rapinoe's second - also posted its congratulations, tweeting, ""Absolutely, positively [heart emoji] to see it!,"

The two met at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, media sources recalled. Both are Olympic gold medalists.

"Bird publicly came out as gay and confirmed Rapinoe was her girlfriend in a July 2017 ESPN story," NBC News recalled.

Though Bird's Instagram photo was posted without explanatory text, news outlets recalled comments the two had made about how happy they are together. UK newspaper The Guardian recalled Rapinoe telling ESPN in 2017, "I joke she is my No 1 go-to-for-advice person. She's just so levelheaded."

The Seattle Times recalled Bird explaining in 2018 that the fact they are both professional athletes makes it easier for the couple to relate with and understand one another.

"It's nice to be going through the same thing," Bird told the Times. "It's very similar, the things you go through: mindsets of things, team chemistry, dealing with a coach. So it's nice to have a sounding board at home that just understands."

Bird also told the Seattle Times that older people drew inspiration from seeing her and Rapinoe go public about their relationship. Noting that marriage equality "wasn't legal then" - that is, when older Americans were younger - Bird recounted that people from older generations are "really thankful that there are younger people willing to push that envelope. They're like, 'Hey, I just want to say thank you. Because you guys have been living openly, it's given me the confidence to do the same.' "

Bird and Rapinoe's engagement is the latest in marriage news regarding high-profile same-sex couples, such as comedian Fortune Feimler and Jacquelyn Smith, who wed in mid-October. The addition of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court bench - as well as news that two Supreme Court justices, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, have signaled openness to a new legal challenge to marriage equality - has helped spur a wave of marriages as gay and lesbian families seek to solemnize their relationships while they can still do so legally.

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