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Tokyo 2020

Megan Rapinoe & Sue Bird - The power couple to watch out for at Tokyo Olympics

Rapinoe and Bird are breaking barriers, setting heights, and charting new paths with every action of theirs

Megan Rapinoe Sue Bird

Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird (Source: GQ)


C.C. Chengappa

Updated: 20 July 2021 4:12 AM GMT

One is a footballer while the other plays basketball. Between them, they have 2 football World Cups, 4 National basketball championships, and 5 Olympic Gold Medals. They are outspoken and are more than just sportspersons. Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird are heading to the Tokyo Olympics together as one of the greatest power couples to have graced the event since 1896.

What helps define the two is the nature in which they conduct themselves. Both are known for their immense talent on the football pitch and basketball court. They are captains of their respective teams and have worked immensely hard to represent their country and win accolades as well. But they have also done a lot of work outside their sporting pursuits.

Rapinoe and Bird have been immensely outspoken in favour of LGBTQ rights, racism, and several other issues that have plagued America. For this, both have received criticism from all over the world. One of the biggest issues that came to light was the time Rapinoe became the first white female athlete to take the knee in solidarity with American Footballer Colin Kaepernick. This triggered a lot of vile abuse towards her and female athletes in general but this also put her in the limelight of a person who was more than just a captain of the US National football team. Since then Rapinoe and Bird have continued to campaign against multiple issues in a public forum and have been extremely vocal about it. The couple met at the Rio Olympics and they have been together since.

Two sports, one message(source-adweek)

They have appeared with each other on the front cover of ESPN magazine named The Body Issue and were the first openly gay couple to do so. A famous incident they faced together was when Rapinoe declared she would not visit the White House if they won the World Cup. Trump challenged her to do so and this was responded to by Sue Bird who stepped in to defend her girlfriend. Their political activism has been centered around the fight for equal pay for women in America. Both of them have been involved in their respective sports to enforce regulations and make way for legislation to declare equal pay as a mandatory feature. For this, they have been duly acknowledged as they continue their fight for equality and a gender-neutral outlook in sports.

Rapinoe and Bird have created history time and again. But no other time can outweigh what they will achieve together at the Tokyo Olympics. The power couple from the US is an inspiration for the rest of the sporting world that has struggled to accept LGBTQ athletes in an open forum. Regardless of whether they win another Olympic Gold medal, both Rapinoe and Sue Bird have set a precedent for future athletes and LGBTQ individuals to build on.

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