The pair first met while backstage at a photo shoot for the 2016 Rio Olympics. “She was in her basketball uniform and she had her hair down,” Rapinoe told NBC in 2021.
“We kinda crossed [paths] and she was like, ‘Oh, hey! Ready for your game?'” Bird added. “I was like, haha… funny.”
The soccer star revealed that she kicked herself at the time for making “such a bad impression.”
“So dorky,” Bird teased. “I walked away like, ‘I thought you were supposed to be cool?’ We joke about it now cause she was a total dork.”
Rapinoe came out as gay publicly in 2012. In 2020, she told The Sunday Magazine that coming out made her “a better, more full person.” The Olympian added, “I think that any time you hide even the smallest part of yourself, you’re not able to fully capture your potential just in life in general. So I feel like that was part of me … maturing and allowing myself to reach my full potential in all aspects of my life.”
Bird waited to come out to the public until she and Rapinoe began dating in 2017. “I’m gay. Megan’s my girlfriend … these aren’t secrets to people who know me,” she told ESPNW at the time. “I don’t feel like I’ve not lived my life. I think people have this assumption that if you’re not talking about it, you must be hiding it, like it’s this secret. That was never the case for me.” The Seattle Storm player had already been out to her friends and family for years.
The athletes got engaged in October 2020 after three years of dating. In a May 2022 interview with The Seattle Times, the basketball star revealed why she and Rapinoe still haven’t tied the knot.
“It’s funny. It’s more Megan. We’re on Megan’s schedule,” she said. “My schedule is open in the offseason. I got time. WNBA is only in the summer. I got time. We’re basically waiting to see what Megan’s soccer future holds and then we’ll go on that. The soccer schedule is a nightmare. They literally play all year. If I had to guess a year, I think the World Cup is 2023 for them. It’ll probably be after that. It’s purely based on schedule. It’s not even what we want. If it was up to us, we would have done it a year ago.”
Scroll through for a timeline of their relationship: