Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird's Relationship Timeline

·13 min read
Megan Rapinoe, winner of the Generation Change award, and Sue Bird attend Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports 2019 at Barker Hangar on July 11, 2019 in Santa Monica, California
Megan Rapinoe, winner of the Generation Change award, and Sue Bird attend Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Sports 2019 at Barker Hangar on July 11, 2019 in Santa Monica, California

Neilson Barnard/KCASports2019/Getty

Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird are known for their incredible skill on the soccer field and basketball court, respectively — and between the two of them, the athletes have even won seven Olympic medals.

As a sports power couple, it is only fitting that they met at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and started dating shortly after. They got engaged in October 2020 and are currently planning their wedding — but Bird admitted to PEOPLE in December 2020 that they were in no rush to tie the knot.

"I think we are both totally okay with the fact that this might not happen for a year, maybe two," the WNBA player said, adding, "We've always kind of known that this was forever, so we aren't necessarily in a rush."

Speaking on their relationship, Rapinoe also told PEOPLE in April 2021 that she is "lucky" to share life with Bird. "I think I pinch myself all the time thinking how lucky we are to be in this life together," she admitted.

Curious to learn more about their romance? Here's a complete timeline of Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird's relationship.

August 2016: Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird meet at the Olympics and start dating

Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird attend the 8th Annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit at Resort at Pelican Hill on October 4, 2017 in Newport Beach, California
Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird attend the 8th Annual espnW: Women + Sports Summit at Resort at Pelican Hill on October 4, 2017 in Newport Beach, California

Joe Scarnici/Getty

While doing press for NBC at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Rapinoe and Bird happened to cross paths. What followed was a truly adorable meet-cute.

"She was in her basketball uniform and she had her hair down," Rapinoe later recalled to NBC Sports.

"We kinda crossed and she was like, 'Oh, hey! Ready for your game?' " Bird chimed in, "I was like, 'ha-ha … funny.' "

Even though Rapinoe admits she made "such a bad impression," Bird was still charmed by the "dorky" pick-up line.

Shortly after that chance meeting, the pair started dating.

2017: Sue Bird comes out as gay and announces her relationship with Megan Rapinoe

While Rapinoe publicly came out as gay in 2012 via an OUT magazine feature, Bird did not come out until 2017. "I'm gay. Megan's my girlfriend. ... These aren't secrets to people who know me," the WNBA star told ESPNW, per Bleacher Report. "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."

She went on to say about the timing, "It's happening when it's happening because that's what feels right. So even though I understand there are people who think I should have done it sooner, it wasn't right for me at the time. I have to be true to that. It's my journey."

June 2018: Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe pose for ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue

After nearly two years of dating, Rapinoe and Bird posed nude together for ESPN The Magazine's Body Issue. They were the first same-sex couple the magazine ever featured.

"I think it's important to do these things first. It's important for people to come out. Visibility is important," Rapinoe told ESPN The Magazine at the time. "I feel like [there are] a lot of negative ideas that hopefully I can break down just by being myself."

She continued, "Not only are we female athletes, but we're dating as well. It's kind of badass."

Bird added, "Yeah, I think it'll probably be even more badass later. A year, five years, 10 years, 20 years, to look back and be like, 'Oh, they were the first openly gay couple to be in the issue.' "

July 2019: Sue Bird defends Megan Rapinoe against President Donald Trump

Megan Rapinoe and WNBA star Sue Bird are given Golden State Warriors' jerseys by Warriors President & Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts during a time out of their game against the Phoenix Suns at Chase Center on October 30, 2019 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement
Megan Rapinoe and WNBA star Sue Bird are given Golden State Warriors' jerseys by Warriors President & Chief Operating Officer Rick Welts during a time out of their game against the Phoenix Suns at Chase Center on October 30, 2019 in San Francisco, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement

Ezra Shaw/Getty

In July 2019, Rapinoe said in a video that she would not go "to the f------ White House" if the U.S. women's national soccer team won the World Cup that season. President Donald Trump responded to the video in a series of tweets about Rapinoe and the soccer team.

Bird was quick to jump to her girlfriend's defense with an essay titled "So the President F------ Hates My Girlfriend," which was published in The Players' Tribune.

RELATED: Everything to Know About Megan Rapinoe, the U.S. Women's National Team's Star Forward

In the piece, Bird discussed Rapinoe's character throughout it all, writing, "Megan, man … I'll tell you what. You just cannot shake that girl. She's going to do her thing, at her own damn speed, to her own damn rhythm, and she's going to apologize to exactly NO ONE for it."

She closed the essay by describing how she felt watching Rapinoe play after the Twitter comments. "I was happy. I was crazy. I was PROUD. I was pretending to know about soccer. I was a little overwhelmed. I was pretty damn American. And I was in love with Megan Rapinoe."

July 7, 2019: Sue Bird supports Megan Rapinoe as she wins the World Cup

Later that month, Rapinoe won her second World Cup trophy as Bird watched from the stands. After the final whistle, the soccer player ran to the stands and kissed Bird in celebration.

October 17, 2019: Megan Rapinoe says she is Sue Bird's "number one superfan"

Megan Rapinoe reacts to Sue Bird #10 of the Seattle Storm after the Storm defeated the Las Vegas Aces in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals to win the championship at Feld Entertainment Center on October 06, 2020 in Palmetto, Florida
Megan Rapinoe reacts to Sue Bird #10 of the Seattle Storm after the Storm defeated the Las Vegas Aces in Game 3 of the WNBA Finals to win the championship at Feld Entertainment Center on October 06, 2020 in Palmetto, Florida

Julio Aguilar/Getty

In October 2019, Rapinoe opened up about her special relationship with Bird in an interview with PEOPLE.

"We are huge fans of each other. I have become, like, a Seattle Storm number one superfan, of course," Rapinoe said. "I think it is just the understanding of what we have to go through and the appreciation of, you know, each other's skills and lives is really special. And in the same sense, we are just normal to each other. Which is really nice. Like, neither of us are like, 'Oh, wow you are the best person that has ever played basketball.' Which she is!"

Rapinoe added, "I love being a WAG [an acronym that refers to the wives and girlfriends of athletes] and a superfan. I think it's AMAZING, and to be able to, you know, watch your partner exceed and excel and be exactly who they are in a public forum. That's pretty special."

She even explained that there was no jealousy in the relationship when it came to sporting success. "Neither of us are jealous or weird about each other's careers," she added. "We are just kind of there to support each other."

June 21, 2020: Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird host the 2020 ESPY Awards

Russell Wilson, Ciara, Megan Rapinoe, and Sue Bird attend The 2019 ESPYs at Microsoft Theater on July 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California
Russell Wilson, Ciara, Megan Rapinoe, and Sue Bird attend The 2019 ESPYs at Microsoft Theater on July 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California

Rich Fury/Getty

On June 21, 2020, Rapinoe and Bird joined forces to host the annual ESPY Awards alongside fellow Seattle-based athlete Russell Wilson.

The online show featured recorded acceptance speeches along with a segment about racial injustice, during which both Rapinoe and Bird spoke about the importance of taking a stand.

July 5, 2020: Sue Bird shares a dance video in honor of Megan Rapinoe's 35th birthday

Bird showed off Rapinoe's silly side with a hilarious dance video in honor of her girlfriend's 35th birthday.

The basketball player posted a video of Rapinoe dancing in the pool and miming drums. Alongside the silly video, Bird wrote, "How you live life on the outside is how you make me feel on the inside."

She went on, "I love you, baby. Happy Birthday!! NOW GO DANCE YOUR ASS OFF (But not in a hot tub. Just in our apartment bc we got bubble to go to 🤪)."

October 23, 2020: Megan Rapinoe opens up about her relationship with Sue Bird

The soccer player spoke to PEOPLE in October 2020 about the status of her relationship, sharing, "We've talked about [marriage], definitely. I think in the future, for sure."

"We're not like, 'Oh, let's just—' but I always tell her that if she were ever to break up with me or want to, that's totally fine, that's your choice," Rapinoe added. "Just know that I will crumble to dust."

October 30, 2020: Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird get engaged

Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird
Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird

Sue Bird Instagram

Just one week after Rapinoe told PEOPLE that she'd be open to marrying Bird, the couple announced that they were officially engaged.

The announcement came in the form of a captionless post on Bird's Instagram that showed Rapinoe down on one knee next to Bird, who was standing in the pool.

November 5, 2020: Megan Rapinoe reflects on spending the pandemic with Sue Bird

Sue Bird #10 of the Seattle Storm and Soccer Player, Megan Rapinoe attend a game between the Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns on November 19, 2021 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE
Sue Bird #10 of the Seattle Storm and Soccer Player, Megan Rapinoe attend a game between the Dallas Mavericks and Phoenix Suns on November 19, 2021 at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2021 NBAE

Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty

In another interview with PEOPLE, Rapinoe said Bird was a source of strength for her during the pandemic.

"I think Sue's ability to stay in the moment and steady us both and be that rock for us both during all of this and have that really pragmatic approach of, 'This is just what it is. We're going to make the best of it and do what we can. And that's the best that we can do,' " Rapinoe told PEOPLE. "Feeling comfortable and safe in that has been, I think, a huge help for me during this."

December 17, 2020: Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird reveal their wedding planning is going slowly

Despite getting engaged in October, Rapinoe and Bird explained to PEOPLE in December that they were planning on taking their wedding planning slowly.

"It's been great to be engaged but we actually haven't planned or talked about much of anything," Bird said.

She explained that the pandemic meant that they were in no rush to tie the knot anytime soon. "I think the one thing we do agree on is that we would love to have our wedding once things have settled down in terms of COVID-19 because we want to have a stress-free environment where we are not having to worry about testing and this and that, which is kind of the life that we are living now," she added.

December 31, 2021: Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird celebrate New Year's Eve together

In several sweet Instagram Stories, Bird and Rapinoe gave a glimpse at their first New Year's Eve together as an engaged couple.

Bird wrote "Byeeeeeee 2020" over an image of the couple wearing cozy loungewear and smiling at the camera.

Rapinoe also posted an image from the evening that featured Bird sitting at a candle-lit table surrounded by a heart filter. Across the image, Rapinoe simply wrote, "Obviously."

April 5, 2021: Megan Rapinoe says she is proud of Sue Bird 

Megan Rapinoe (L) and Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm pose for photos on the court after attending the WNBA All-Star Game 2019 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on July 27, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement
Megan Rapinoe (L) and Sue Bird of the Seattle Storm pose for photos on the court after attending the WNBA All-Star Game 2019 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on July 27, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement

Ethan Miller/Getty

During a PEOPLE interview in April 2021, Rapinoe once again opened up about her love for Bird.

"I think to have a lot of women at the center of all of this social change that's happening around female athletes and activism is really just amazing," the soccer star said. "I feel like every time she does something, I'm, like, bursting with pride and she's just doing so many things out in the world that really are making a difference."

RELATED: Megan Rapinoe and the U.S. Women's Soccer Team Fight for Pay Equality in LFG — See the Teaser

July 2021: Megan Rapinoe opens up about Sue Bird carrying the American flag at the Olympics

When Bird was selected as a flag bearer for Team USA at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Rapinoe told Mike Tirico on NBC's opening ceremony broadcast she "couldn't be prouder and happier" for her fiancée.

"She told me on text, she heard at practice," Rapinoe explained. "In typical Sue fashion she was very low-key about it but I did see the video when [Diana Taurasi] told her and I think that says it all. Unlike me, she doesn't like a lot of the attention but I think you could tell at that moment just how much it meant to her."

August 8, 2021: Megan Rapinoe supports Sue Bird as the WNBA star wins her fifth consecutive gold medal

Sue Bird #6 of Team United States kisses Megan Rapinoe in celebration after the United States' win over Japan in the Women's Basketball final game on day sixteen of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games at Saitama Super Arena on August 08, 2021 in Saitama, Japan
Sue Bird #6 of Team United States kisses Megan Rapinoe in celebration after the United States' win over Japan in the Women's Basketball final game on day sixteen of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games at Saitama Super Arena on August 08, 2021 in Saitama, Japan

Kevin C. Cox/Getty

Rapinoe showed her love for Bird by giving her an adorable kiss after she won her fifth Olympic gold medal in Tokyo.

"I am so proud of you @sbird10 ❤️. As if I could love you any more 🥰. Congrats baby!" Rapinoe later wrote in an Instagram post.

Rapinoe also spoke to NBC about her fiancée's win. "[I'm] honestly inspired, and I told her the other day, it feels, like, corny to say but it's like everything you would want in someone that you would look up to. Obviously, I get to be with her and I love her, that's the most special part," she said.

"She just does things the right way," she continued with emotion. "She plays with a sense of joy, she makes everyone else around her better on and off the court. She's just an amazing person. I'm gonna start tearing up. You're gonna make me cry on national TV."

January 2022: Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird enjoy the beach

Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird
Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird

Sue Bird Instagram

In early 2022, it seemed that Rapinoe and Bird set off for a holiday. The couple shared a photo from an unknown beach location.

Bird captioned the snap, "✌️👌✌️✌️."

March 2022: Sue Bird talks about her wedding plans with Megan Rapinoe

After an 18-month-long engagement, Bird discussed how wedding planning was going for her and Rapinoe.

"Ironically, this is, like I said, honestly, stars aligning seems to be the theme," she told PEOPLE. "We're kind of toying with having a wedding in Mexico maybe. So there'll definitely be Coronas on deck. I can count on that for sure."

June 16, 2022: Sue Bird announces she will retire from WNBA after the 2022 season and receives Megan Rapinoe's support

Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird #10 of the Seattle Storm poses for a portrait with the WNBA Championship Trophy after winning Game 3 of the 2020 WNBA Finals against the Las Vegas Aces on October 6, 2020 at Feld Entertainment Center in Palmetto, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE
Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird #10 of the Seattle Storm poses for a portrait with the WNBA Championship Trophy after winning Game 3 of the 2020 WNBA Finals against the Las Vegas Aces on October 6, 2020 at Feld Entertainment Center in Palmetto, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2020 NBAE

Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty

The Seattle Storm star revealed her retirement news on Instagram on June 16, 2022, writing, "I've decided this will be my final year. I have loved every single minute, and still do, so gonna play my last year just like this little girl played her first ☺️ #TheFinalYear."

Rapinoe also showed her support for Bird, commenting, "I love you baby ❤️ Congrats on the greatest career the @wnba has ever seen!"

September 6, 2022: Megan Rapinoe honors Sue Bird after her last WNBA game

Bird officially retired from the WNBA after her team, Seattle Storm, was eliminated from the playoffs. "I didn't really want to leave the court," Bird said after the game.

Rapinoe posted a sweet tribute to her fiancée and her career on Instagram, sharing a photo of Bird as a young girl in a red shirt and braces. "The Greatest to ever do it," Rapinoe wrote in the caption. "I am so proud of you❤️."

Rapinoe also posted images in her Instagram Story, including a link to a video of fans cheering for Bird after her last game and an image from Seattle Storm's profile, naming the athlete's WNBA accomplishments.