Talk about a power couple!
Amanda Chidester and Anissa Urtez are Olympic softball players who will be competing against each other at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo next year. But as it turns out, the two have also been dating off the field for years and have recently got engaged.
In the latest episode of Outsports's podcast, Five Rings To Rule Them All, Chidester, a catcher for Team USA, and Urtez, a shortstop representing Mexico, opened up about the surprise proposal and how they handle competing against each other.
“We don’t know each other when we’re on the field. It’s game on," quipped Chidester, who was the one that popped the question.
Chidester and Urtez started dating in 2018 while they were teammates on Scrap Yard Fast Pitch. They are currently both signed to the Athletes Unlimited pro softball league, which held its first season in 2020.
“We’ve had a bunch of conversations about it,” Chidester explained. “Whoever medals, we’re going to be happy for each other no matter what. No matter what.”
The couple already knew they’d be competing against each other during the scheduled 2020 Summer Olympics, so Chidester thought it best to propose after the games. It seemed right to focus on winning and representing their countries first before thinking of themselves.
Chidester’s proposal plans were nearly compromised when the Olympics were postponed due to the pandemic.
“Should I keep it then?” she wondered of the proposal. “Should I push it back?”
The pair decided to move to Utah together, and take a trip with friends to Zion National Park and other spots the pair had visited when they first started dating.
“We were just getting ready to move to Utah and so I was kind of thinking ‘You know what, it would be a great start, we move to Utah together, we’ll be engaged and all that.’”
With the help of their mutual friends, Chidester finally proposed the morning they visited famed and picturesque Horseshoe Bend. Their friends knew that morning and helped arrange it so they had a picture perfect moment to capture the proposal.
“I literally had no idea,” Urtez remembered. “We’ve always had conversations about ring sizes and getting married and all of that stuff. I just thought we were on another trip with our really close friends, and we’re going to one of my favorite spots and then I turn around she’s on a knee.”
Of course, Urtez said yes.
“She did so good,” she recalled of Chidester’s planning. “It was beautiful, it was perfect.”
The pair are going public with their engagement in order to be an inspiration to other LGBTQ+ athletes, and set an example that athletes can live open and loving lives.