The U.S. women’s soccer team is in a legal battle regarding working conditions and equal pay when compared to their male counterparts. The U.S. Soccer Federation reached a settlement that is to be proposed in terms of working conditions, but the dispute regarding equal pay still goes on.
The agreement was filed with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California last week, and it’s a partial victory for the U.S. women’s soccer team that was a World Cup champion last year. They’ll see improvement in hotel accommodations, travel, venues, and staffing, which will make them equal in that aspect to the U.S. men’s soccer team.
A Partial Victory for the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team
One of the most important changes that were proposed in the settlement was a requirement that all the soccer games would be played on grass versus artificial surfaces. This is a condition that the men’s team hardly faces.
The U.S. Soccer Federation has agreed to provide an equal number of chartered flights for both the women’s and men’s teams and will offer comparable hotel accommodations for both teams.
Just the First Step
U.S. Soccer President, Cindy Parlow Cone said that agreeing on these working conditions was only the first step. She’s referring to the lawsuit that is still being disputed regarding equal pay. Molly Levinson, who is a spokesperson for the female soccer players commented that they’re more committed now than ever to achieve equal pay as they all legally deserve it. The team wants to focus on leaving the game of soccer in a better place for future generations of women that will play for the USWNT and the country.
They will be filing an appeal to the Court’s decision as they rejected the equal pay claim for the U.S. women’s soccer team back in May. Judge R. Gary Klausner pointed out differences regarding the structure of the women’s and men’s contracts and why they shouldn’t be paid equally.
30+ Olympic Couples We Didn’t Know About
When you’re a top level athlete, who better to date than another top level athlete? You both understand the dedication, stamina and passion it takes to excel at the top of your sport. Plus, you can travel to tournaments together—how convenient! Join us as we take a look at some past and present Olympic couples. These high level athletes are definitely going for relationship gold!
Sandi Morris and Tyrone Smith
Two time Olympian Sandi Morris is a pole jumper, with a personal best of 16ft 3 inches. The Olympic star fell in love with long jumper Tyrone Smith at the 2016 games. She remembers, “Our story is very embedded in the Olympics, and Rio is really where we got to know each other, spend time together, and I would go as far as to say we fell in love.”
Sandi Morris and Tyrone Smith got married in 2019. They will be competing together at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Edward Gal and Hans Peter Minderhoud
Dutch dressage riders Edward Gal and Hans Peter Minderhoud are another couple that will compete together at the 2020 Summer Olympics. When the couple competed on the Dutch team at the Rio games in 2018, they finished fourth. This impressive couple has one Olympic medal each.
Hans Peter Minderhound has commented, “Competitions are a way of life and it is so much fun if you are with someone who precisely understands that and knows what you are doing, dedicating all your time to horses.”
Tracy Caulkins and Mark Stockwell
Another Olympic couple in the same sport are swimmers Tracy Caulkins and Mark Stockwell. Stockwell first saw his future wife at the Los Angeles Olympics in XX, so he jumped into the pool to introduce himself. They got married in 1991 and live in Brisbane with their five kids.
Tracy Caulkins is an astounding American swimmer, with three Olympic gold medals. She is considered one of the best swimmers of all time. Mark Stockwell has three Olympic medals.
Kate Richardson-Walsh and Helen Richardson-Walsh
When British field hockey teammates Kate Walsh and Helen Richardson tied the knot, they decided to combine their surnames. The couple welcomed their first child, daughter Pfeiffer, in 2019.
These Olympic athletes were the first married same-sex couple to compete in the games. Then, they were the first same-sex married couple to win Olympic gold as part of the same team. Team Great Britain brought home the gold medal for field hockey at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
Carmen Marton and Safwan Khalil
When you’re a top level athlete, it’s likely that you’ll run into the same people over and over. It might be at the gym, or maybe at competitions. Regardless, you’re likely to see familiar faces pop up at sporting events. That’s what happened to Australian Taekwondo athletes Carmen Marton and Safwan Khalil.
This pair met at the 2002 World Junior Taekwondo Championships in Greece, and didn’t start dating until years afterwards. These Olympic competitors are both children of refugees, giving them even more in common.
Kateřina Kůrková and Matt Emmons
Clearly it’s very common for Olympic athletes from the same sport to hook up. Our next Olympic couple are shooters Kateřina and Matt Emmons. Czech shooter Kateřina Kůrková competed at the 2004 and 2008 games, bringing home gold, silver and bronze medals.
The couple met when American shooter Matthew Emmons made an embarrassing miss, and Kůrková gifted him a four leaf clover keychain. They stayed in touch, and tied the knot in 2007. They now split their time between the US and the Czech Republic.
Sarah Jones and Leah Wilkinson
British field hockey players Sarah Jones and Leah Wilkinson have commented that their sport is pretty inclusive. Wilkinson has said, “Growing up in the hockey world, I was around a lot of gay women […] We’re lucky to have hockey, where there is such a thriving LGBT community.”
Sarah Jones and Leah Wilkinson will both be competing at the Tokyo Summer Games, taking place in 2021. So far, both athletes have competed at the Commonwealth Games. Plus, Leah Wilkinson is the most capped hockey player ever.
Will Claye and Queen Harrison Claye
Triple jumper Will Claye decided to go all out with his proposal to hurdler and sprinter Queen Harrison. The athlete won silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and then dropped to his knee to propose to his girlfriend watching from the stands.
Queen recalls, “When he got down originally I thought maybe he dropped something. And he did – he dropped my jaw to the floor!” The couple tied the knot in 2018, and will both be competing at the Summer games.
Tim Price and Jonelle Richards
Another couple ready to compete together in Tokyo are New Zealand equestrians Tim and Jonelle Price. The athletes represented their country at 2016 in Rio, and before that, Jonelle took home bronze from London in 2012.
This Olympic couple got married in 2013, and have actually competed against each other. Their sport is the only one at the Olympics where people of all genders play together. Jonelle has commented, “When we met, we were riding and competing alongside each other, so we have never known any different.”
Federica Pellegrini and Matteo Giunta
Impressively, Italian swimmer Federica Pellegrini is the only swimmer ever to win eight medals in a row at the same event. Likewise, she is the first female Italian Olympic swimming champion, and the only Italian swimmer to set world records in multiple events. Wow!
Now, Federica Pellegrini was in a long term relationship with fellow Olympic swimmer Filippo Magnini. However, they have since split and she has coupled up with Matteo Giunta, the Italian national team swim coach.
Andrea Henkel and Tim Burke
Now it’s time for an international coupling—American biathlete Tim Burke, and his wife, German biathlete Andrea Henkel. Impressively, Andrea Henkel is a four time Olympian and has won four medals at the games. She was initially a cross-country skier but changed to biathlon when it became an official Olympic sport.
This is another athletic couple that met while competing on the world cup circuit. After meeting at various locations, they started dating, and eventually tied the knot. Adorable!
Chris Adcock and Gabby White
British badminton players Chris and Gabby Adcock first meet when they were teenagers. The talented couple played mixed doubles together, winning silver at the European Games. Chris Adcock has represented his country at the 2012 and 2016, while Gabby competed in the 2016 games.
Before the Rio Games, Chris commented, “It is even more exciting that I get to go with Gabby. It will be a dream come true walking out with Team GB on my back alongside Gabby. I am really excited by the prospect.”
Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe
One of the most well-known Olympic power couples are American athletes Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe. Bird is one of the greatest players in WNBA history, and a four time WNBA championship winner. She won Olympic gold in 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016.
Meanwhile, her fiancé, Megan Rapinoe co-captained the US women’s soccer team to success in the 2019 World Cup. Plus, her team won gold at the 2012 Olympics. This talented pair met at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
Devin Logan and Travis Jayner
Our next couple also met through their shared love of sport. American freeskier Devin Logan met Canadian born American speedskater Travis Jayner at a celebration before the Sochi Games in 2013. After that, they kept in touch via Twitter, and now, according to Instagram, things are still going strong.
Devin Logan won a silver medal at the Sochi Winter Olympics, while Travis Jayner won bronze at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010. These are definitely some high achieving couples!
Jamie Anderson and Tyler Nicholson
When women’s snowboarding slopestyle debuted at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, American snowboarder Jamie Anderson took home the gold medal. Snowboarding since she was nine, the pro athlete met her Canadian snowboarder partner, Tyler Nicholson, in a Canadian bar.
This snow loving couple have been together ever since, and are both Olympic athletes. Tyler Nicholson developed his love for the sport at age seven, and competed at the 2018 PyeongChang games. It’s a match made in snowboarding heaven!
Sarah Hendrickson and Torin Yater-Wallace
The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia were historic for several reasons. For example, at these games, women were allowed to compete in Olympic ski jumping for the first time. The first woman to make the jump was American ski jumper Sarah Hendrickson.
After the Closing Ceremony at these games, American skier Torin Yater Wallace asked Sarah Hendrickson to come have pizza with him and the rest of the men’s halfpipe team. It must have gone well, because they’re still together now!
Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari
Next we turn to Indian archers Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari. Kumari is the current world No.1, winning a record three gold medals at the 2021 Paris World Cup, and gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. As a child she practiced her skills by aiming at mangos with stones, and now she’s a three time Olympian.
In 2020, Deepika Kumari married fellow Indian archer Atanu Das. The skilled couple are competing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, held in 2021.
Megan Jones and Celia Quansah
Celia Quansah was always athletic, and competed against British Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill at the British Championships. When she was at college, she started playing rugby, and quickly took to the sport. Just six months after starting, Quansah was invited onto the England Sevens team.
It was there that Celia Quansah met teammate and future partner Megan Jones. Jones debuted for England in 2015, and played in the 2021 Women’s Six Nations. Both women will be competing at the Tokyo Games.
Laura Reback and Greg Bennett
Both Laura and Greg Bennett started triathlons when they were children, but on opposite sides of the world. The couple first met in Canada, when American Reback was training for what was supposed to be her final competition, and Australian Bennett was considering retiring.
Neither athlete retired for some time, though they did stick with each other. Laura and Greg Bennett got married in 2004. Laura competed in the 2008 and 2012 games, while Bennett competed in the 2004 Games.
Anissa Urtez and Amanda Chidester
Our next Olympic couple play the same sport but for different teams, meaning they could face off at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Amanda Chidester has been on the US Softball Women’s National Team on and off since 2012, and will be making her Olympic debut this year.
Meanwhile, her fiancé, Anissa Urtez, is a Mexican-American softball player. Urtez played for the Mexican team at this year’s Summer Games, hitting the first home run in Mexican Olympic softball history. Yes!
Gerek Meinhardt and Lee Kiefer
Brace yourself, because American fencer Lee Kiefer is not to be messed with. The 27 year old is already a four time NCAA champion, the winner of 19 Pan American championships, the 2018 team world champion, and a three time Olympian. Phew!
Her husband is fellow American fencer Gerek Meinhardt, a two time NCAA champion, 14 time Pan American Champion, the 2019 team world champion, a three time Olympian, and an Olympic medalist. Now that’s one seriously competitive couple.
Thalia Munro and Brett Ormsby
When asked how he and his wife, Thalia Munro got together, water polo player Brett Ormsby said, “simply through the fact that the water polo players on the women and men’s teams run in the same circles.” It’s a match made in Olympic heaven!
The American professional water polo players first got together in 2002 and tied the knot in 2009. Both Munro and Ormsby competed at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens. At those Olympics, Thalia Munro won bronze.
L.J. van Zyl and Irvette van Zyl
Long distance South African runner Irvette van Blerk first met South African hurdler L.J. van Zyl after the Beijing Olympics in 2008. They got married after the London 2012 games, and love competing together. L.J. has said, “I don’t think there can be anything more special than representing your country at an Olympic Games together with the woman you really love.”
L.J. van Zyl is the South African record holder in the 400m hurdles. Irvette is the 50km ultramarathon world record holder.
Georgia Simmerling and Stephanie Labbé
Canadian soccer star Stephanie Labbé has played professionally in Sweden and Canada. The top athlete also sued Calgary Foothills F.C. for not letting her play on their men’s team. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, she won a bronze medal as Canada’s starting goalkeeper.
Also in 2016, Stephanie Labbé started dating Canadian road and track cyclist Georgia Simmerling. Also an Olympian, Simmerling took home bronze from the Rio Games. Impressively, she is also the first Canadian to compete in three different sports in three different Olympics.
Hunter Woodhall and Tara Davis
Next up are a pair of young athletes with big careers ahead of them. First up is Tara Davis, an American track and field athlete and record holder. Davis is the American junior record holder for the indoor long jump, and ran the second fasted wind legal race in history.
Competing alongside her at the Tokyo Olympics is her boyfriend, track and field Paralympian Hunter Woodhall. Double amputee Woodhall won silver and bronze at Rio in 2016 for the 200m and 400m races.
Alexa Scimeca-Knierim and Chris Knierim
Alexa and Chris Knierim are one of those special Olympic couples that actually compete together. The American pair skaters won bronze at the 2018 Olympics, becoming the first American pair ever to perform a quad twist at the Olympics.
Since then, Chris Knierim has retired from professional skating, but continues to coach. Wife Alexa has another Olympic bronze medal, and is the 2021 US National Champion. This Olympic couple became skating partners in 2012, and got married in 2016.
Mirka Vavrincová and Roger Federer
Most people know tennis superstar Roger Federer, but what about his wife? Well, the swiss tennis pro first met Czech born Mirka Vavrincová, at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. At just 19 years old, he struck up a conversation with his fellow Swiss tennis pro. Nine years later, they were married.
Among his many other achievements, Roger Federer has two Olympic medals – one silver, one gold. Mirka Federer was first spotted by tennis legend Martina Navratilova. She retired from tennis in 2002 because of a foot injury.
Jamie Greubel Poser and Christian Poser
It’s time to turn to the Winter Olympics for married bobsledders Jamie Greubel Poser and Christian Poser. Jamie Greubel did track and field hockey in high school, then set records in the heptathlon and pentathlon in college. After graduating, she decided to turn her hand to bobsledding. Now, she has a bronze Olympic medal.
Jamie Greubel’s husband since 2014 is fellow American bobsledder Christian Poser. Poser represented his home country, Germany, at the 2014 Sochi Games. The pair met at a world cup race.
Laura Trott and Jason Kenny
Between them, Olympic cyclists Jason and Laura Kenny have 10 Olympic gold medals. In fact, Jason Kenny has the highest amount of Olympic gold medals for a British athlete, alongside his teammate Chris Hoy. The top cyclist married Laura Trott in 2016, and they have a son together.
For her part, Laura Trott isn’t a bad athlete either. The English cyclist is the most successful female track cyclist in Olympic history, and the most successful British female Olympian. Not bad, eh?
Kristi Yamaguchi and Bret Hedican
When American figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi first met future husband Bret Hedican, she was in too much of a daze to remember. You see, she’s just won an Olympic gold medal at the 1992 games, becoming the first Asian-American woman to win gold at the Winter Games.
Thankfully, when Yamaguchi met Hedican again, she remembered. The American ice-hockey player competed at the 1992 and 2006 games. Kristi Yamaguchi and Bret Hedican got married in 2000 and have two daughters together.
Elana Meyers Taylor and Nic Taylor
According to American bobsledder Elana Meyers, husband Nic Taylor, “serves as my best friend, teammate, coach, sports psych, mechanic, sounding board and everything in between.” That sounds pretty great to us! This couple met in 2011, and married in 2014.
Elana Meyers won bronze at Vancouver 2010, and silver at Sochi 2014 and PyeongChang 2018. Her husband, Nic Taylor is also a long time member of the US bobsled team, and an Olympian. The couple welcomed their son in 2020.
Charlotte Caslick and Lewis Holland
Australian rugby players Charlotte Caslick and Lewis Holland both competed at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. At those games, Caslick’s team took home the gold, and she was named World Rugby Player of the Year. Impressive!
This rugby loving Olympic duo got engaged in 2020, but had to postpone their wedding thanks to the unpredictable events of that year. Lewis Holland has commented, “It’s great having someone to be with who really understands exactly what you’re going through. It’s a level of understanding that’s pretty unique.”
Brianne Theisen-Eaton and Ashton Eaton
American decathlete Ashton Eaton first met Brianne Theisen-Eaton as a freshman in college. After the couple fell in love at the 2007 Pan American Junior Athletics Championship, Theisen followed Eaton to the same college. The couple got married one year after they both competed at London, 2012.
At those games, Ashton Eaton won the gold medal in decathlon, and he won it again when he returned for Rio, 2016. Canadian track and field athlete Brianne holds the Canadian record for the heptathlon.
Jessica Hardy and Dominik Meichtry
Olympic swimmers Jessica Hardy and Dominik Meichtry first met at the 2005 world championships. They got married in 2013, creating a super swimming union. American swimmer Jessica Hardy has won a whopping 28 medals in international competitions, including one bronze and one gold Olympic medal.
Swiss swimmer Dominik Meichtry has six Swiss national records and has competed at three Olympic Games. At the 2008 games, Meichtry swam the 8th fastest time ever recorded in the 200m freestyle race, beating Michael Phelps.
Nikola Prodanov and Diana Yorgova
Finally, we close our list with an Olympic first. When a Bulgarian diplomat found out that Bulgarian gymnast Nikola Prodanov was engaged to Bulgarian long jumper Diana Yorgova, they had an idea. What if these two got married in the Olympic village during the games?
That’s exactly what happened, even though the couple had already picked a wedding date. The Bulgarian Olympians tied the knot at the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Yorgova went on to win silver at the 1972 games.