Xena and Gabrielle. Achilles and Patroclus. Mothra and Godzilla. What do these pairs have in common? They are all power couples. But, they’re all fictional characters. But our athletes are probably the closest real-life heroes. Every day they train to wow us with feats of physical prowess. We all know how lesbians make some of the best athletes. Is it any wonder there are so many lesbian power couples in sports? We picked out a few of our favorites for this list.
Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird
There is enough gold between Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird to make King Midas blush. With four Olympic gold medals and four world championships, Sue’s winnings are probably taking up most of the space on their mantle. But thanks to Megan’s scoring spree at the World Cup this summer, she’s catching up. Bringing home the world championship, the golden boot, and the golden ball should even things out a bit. While Reign FC didn’t make it to the NWSL championships this year, Megan is on the shortlist for the Ballon d’Or, one of football’s most coveted awards. They may be ruthless competitors in their respective sports, but they are incredibly sweet on social media. It isn’t uncommon to see them posting a cute picture on Instagram or sending a supportive tweet. In fact, Megan thanked Sue after she won FIFA World Player of the Year. They’ve posed together in several magazines, even becoming the first same-sex couple to appear in ESPN’s “The Body Issue.” This couple just can’t stop winning.
Sam Kerr and Nikki Stanton
Chicago Red Stars teammates Sam Kerr and Nikki Stanton are next on our list. The couple previously played for Sky Blue FC, but were traded to the Red Stars. Where one goes, the other follows! That year, the pair helped the Red Stars reach the playoffs. And this year, they’ve help their team reach the finals for the first time in NWSL history. Is that the power of lesbianism? Maybe! As cute as they may be off the pitch, their connection makes them dangerous to opposing teams during games. These two grew up on opposite ends of the world, but soccer brought them together. It gives all of us a little hope that we might find somebody to love, even if she is across the ocean. The couple blesses us with peeks into their lives through social media. If they’re not fostering cats and dogs, they’re on hikes or hanging out with friends. Nikki even wears Sam’s Australian National Team jersey when she’s away for national team games. There’s just something about seeing a woman wear her girlfriend’s jersey that tugs at the heartstrings.
Georgia Simmerling and Stephanie Labbé
Another pair of Olympic medalists graces our list. Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé and Canadian cyclist Georgia Simmerling both won bronze medals during the 2016 Rio Olympics. Coincidentally enough, the pair have been dating since 2016. It’s almost like they were meant to be. The couple are not shy about sharing bits of their lives with us on social media. Georgia is often found cheering on her girlfriend at North Carolina Courage games. She’ll definitely be cheering her on as Stephanie and the Courage try to win their second consecutive NWSL championship. When they’re not training, Stephanie and Georgia are busy with their business Project Athlete. The project hopes to connect people by reminding everyone that it’s okay not to take yourself too seriously. They state on their website that their “apparel is aimed to embrace the project in all of us.”
Nina Ansaroff and Amanda Nunes
If these two sound familiar, it’s because they were both mentioned in our article about lesbians killing it in sports. MMA fighters Nina Ansaroff and Amanda Nunes truly embody the phrase “the couple that fights together, stays together.” The pair are engaged and still fighting in the UFC. They have a combined 28 wins, making them one couple you don’t want to mess with. Amanda, the first openly lesbian champion in the UFC, credits her success to their relationship, stating that Nina knows what it takes to be a fighter, and this understanding and support allows her to be a better fighter. To be understood is to be loved, right? They may be ferocious in the ring, but outside of it they are very sweet.
Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris
We started off this list with one World Cup champion. Why not finish it up with a pair of two-time champs? Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris added that second trophy to their collection after winning the World Cup this summer. Before the tournament, the couple announced that after nearly a decade of dating, they’re engaged and plan to have their wedding at the end of this year. Prior to playing with the Orlando Pride, both Ali and Ashlyn played with the Washington Spirit. Then, the NWSL expansion draft sent Ashlyn to Orlando. It took some getting used to seeing the couple play on opposing teams. But once the 2016 season came around, Ali made her way to Florida to play for the Pride. She must have been a good luck charm because Ashlyn won the 2016 Goalkeeper of the Year award. The couple have been through the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows together. We wish them nothing but the best.
But Wait! There’s More!
But these are just five couples. There are plenty more in the women’s sports world. Seeing real women succeed in their respective sports while simultaneously supporting their girlfriends just hits differently. And if you aren’t into sports, there’s always lesbian drama to be had when someone plays against her ex while her current girlfriend is on her team. Don’t believe me? Well, that exact situation has played out in the NWSL. Just like when Houston Dash forward Rachel Daly broke it off with Chicago Red Stars defender Sarah Gorden, then started dating her Dash teammate Kristie Mewis. Of course all the women remained professional, but you can’t help but wonder when you see those hard tackles. Let’s not forget the collective gasp heard round the women’s soccer sphere when Abby Wambach wrote about being in a relationship with former teammate Megan Rapinoe in her book. They only lasted a hot second, but they managed to remain close friends and teammates afterwards. Break-ups are bound to happen. They might be messy, they might be just fine. No matter how it happened, these women managed to stay civil enough to get the job done.