Who is Sue Bird, Megan Rapinoe’s WNBA star fiancée?
Rapinoe’s long-term partner will be watching on from the stands at Soldier Field as the USWNT legend takes her final bow for the national team.
Megan Rapinoe will make her final international appearance this weekend when USWNT take on South Africa at Soldier Field.
She is one of the most recognisable female athletes in the United States and one of the most decorated American soccer players of all time. However her fiancée, Sue Bird, has her own claim to be one of the country’s finest female team athletes.
Basketball star Bird is the only WNBA player to win a title in three different decades, winning the WNBA championship on four occasions. During her 20-year playing career she was named in the WNBA All-Star team 13 times and is regarded as one of the greatest players in league history.
How did Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird meet?
The pair met while competing at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Speaking to In Style about their first meeting, Rapinoe recalls that they initially began hanging out after watching US basketball matches in Brazil.
“My team got out really early, we had a terrible Olympics,” USWNT star Rapinoe explained. “There were five or six of us who were just like we’re going to spend this week in Rio.”
“We ended up going to a few of her games and hanging out in the same circles and went to their after-party after they won.”
“We said ‘Oh we both live in Seattle but we don’t know each other, why aren’t we friends?’ and we just hit it off from there.”
Shortly after that the pair started dating and they confirmed their relationship publicly the following year. Bird came out in 2017 and announced that her and Rapinoe were an item immediately.
“I’m gay. Megan’s my girlfriend... These aren’t secrets to people who know me,” Bird told ESPNW.
Sue Bird’s basketball career
The 5ft 9in point guard is considered one of the greatest players in WNBA history and has amassed an incredible number of awards over the course of her two-decade career. She played her entire WNBA career with the Seattle Storm after being drafted by the team as the Number 1 overall pick in the 2002 WNBA Draft.
She won the WNBA championship four times with the team (2004, 2010, 2018, 2020), a joint record in the women’s game. She has also won a record five Olympic gold medals in five consecutive tournaments (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020).
Her career achievements are not limited to the United States and she frequently competed with European teams in the WNBA off-season. From 2004 to 2014 she featured for Dynamo Moscow, Spartak Moscow Region and UMMC Ekaterinburg, winning five EuroLeague Championships in a decade.
As well as picking up a huge number of championships, both in the US and overseas, her incredible longevity is what sets her apart from the rest. She holds the WNBA record for most seasons played, most games played, most assists and most turnovers recorded.
Such an incredible career often sparks one question for those not previously familiar with the WNBA legend; is Sue Bird related to Larry Bird? Although they have similarly impressive resumes, Sue Bird and Larry Bird are not related.
Are Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird married?
After first meeting in 2016 and publicly confirming their relationship the following year, Rapinoe revealed in October 2020 that they were considering taking the next step.
“We’ve talked about [marriage], definitely. I think in the future, for sure,” she told People.
“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,” before adding, “Just know that I will crumble to dust.”
It didn’t take long for those plans to materialise and just one week later Rapinoe and Bird announced their engagement. They broke the news with a caption-less post on Bird’s Instagram that showed Rapinoe on one knee.
As of September 2023 the power couple have not yet tied the knot, but plans are certainly coming together. In 2022 Bird confirmed that they were considering a ceremony in Mexico, but had not yet set a concrete date.
Perhaps, now that both players have brought their illustrious playing careers to an end, they will finally have time for their long-awaited wedding.