If there's one thing the 2019 Women's World Cup has taught me, it's that I really should be watching soccer. Seriously, I've been missing out. The other is that the love story between U.S. soccer star Megan Rapinoe and her longtime girlfriend Sue Bird — who happens to be an incredible athlete in her own right — is the very definition of relationship goals. They made headlines by kissing in celebration following the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team's big win against the Netherlands. It seemed clear from Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird’s body language that what we were seeing is a real love story, and one that I need to know everything about.
In case you're new to this ship, the couple actually had a really unique meet cute. Despite both Bird and Rapinoe playing for teams in Seattle (Seattle Storm and Reign FC, respectively), the two didn’t actually meet until the lead-up to the Rio Olympics in 2016. They were introduced during a press event, but didn’t actually hang out until eight months later in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, where they attended some of the same after parties between games. They stayed in contact and once they got back to the U.S., things started to heat up between them.
The following year, in a profile for ESPNW, Bird confirmed that the two of them were a couple, and had been dating since fall 2016. They were even featured together in ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue, where the pair made history as the first gay couple to ever grace the cover. It was an honor that they were excited about, but they wanted their sexual identity to be secondary to their achievements as athletes.
“I think neither of us really wants to just do things and be like, 'We're the gay couple,' but to have this really unique vehicle to actually do that, to celebrate who we are in our sport, but also the fact that we'll be the first gay couple, is pretty special... Not only are we female athletes, but we're dating as well. It's kind of badass," Rapinoe told the magazine. "Badass" is just one great way to describe this couple, who also share a passion for activism and social justice.
Needless to say, I stan. So, of course, I want to know if my favorite couple in sports is in love and as solid as they seem to be. To find out, I got in touch with Traci Brown, body language expert and author of Persuasion Point: Body Language and Speech for Influence, to find out what she sees in this couple’s dynamic and connection over the years based on their body language. Guys, I have good news. Here's what she had to say.