Now this is a power couple.
Superstar athletes Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe are looking sexy and in love posing topless on the Modern Lovers issue of GQ. Inside the magazine, the pair of all-time greats discuss getting engaged, the story of their relationship, and where they hope to go from here.
The couple met, very fittingly, while doing a promotional photoshoot for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Rapinoe saw Bird heading towards a shoot wearing her uniform and a full face of makeup, and couldn't help but jokingly ask, “are you getting ready for a game?” It wasn’t the first impression Rapinoe wanted to make. “It didn’t go like I planned at all,” she told GQ, “I walked away like, ‘you’re an idiot.’”
But they saw each other again when Rapinoe attended the USA women’s basketball team’s gold medal victory party, and felt an instant spark. They made plans to meet up after the Olympics in Seattle, where they both lived and played.
After Rapinoe, who was engaged at the time, broke up with her fiancee, the two of them went on their first date. From there, things moved fast. “I was like, ‘okay, don’t be a cliche lesbian, where you love this person when you first meet them,” Rapinoe recalled, “but it was just immediately like, ‘oh, this is home.’” Since then, the couple has been inseparable.
The two athletes set standards for their respective sports, with Rapinoe winning two World Cups and an Olympic gold medal, and Bird winning two national championships in college basketball at UConn, four WNBA championships with the Seattle Storm, and four Olympic gold medals. But they’re not content to rest on their laurels.
Both athletes are also vocal leaders on social issues in their sports, and are able to lean on each other when times get hard or reaction from fans gets bad. When Rapinoe started kneeling in solidarity with Colin Kaepernik to protest against police brutality and for Black Lives Matter, she was admonished in an official statement from the United States Soccer Federation and started being left off the US team’s roster for tournaments.
“I’m going through this crazy situation with my coach, my career’s on the line, I’m feeling wild things and saying wild things at times. I’ve never felt insecure in my career in that way,” Rapinoe said, adding that her relationship with Bird, “felt safe in this very unsafe world that I was living in.”
The two got engaged last year after spending three months together in the WNBA’s quarantine bubble, and now, they’re looking forward to their future together.
They plan on getting married once it’s safe to, and then living the rest of their lives together.
“We would love to have the type of life where we can just, on a whim, go on a vacation or do some of the things that sports inhibited us from doing,” Bird said, “Maybe it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s your mom’s birthday. Let’s go see your mom on her birthday.’”
After years spent pushing their sports forward, the two of them deserve it.