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9 Badass Couples Competing In The Rio Olympics This Summer

1. Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh

Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh

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Sports: The life mates and teammates play for Great Britain’s field hockey team, and they’re both two-time Olympians!

Their story: The Richardson-Walshes are a big freaking deal — they’re the first married same-sex couple to compete in an Olympics! They first met nearly 20 years ago, and became a couple right before the Beijing Olympics in 2008. After winning a bronze medal for Great Britain at the 2012 Olympics, they got married the next year.

Aww alert: “We are a couple, we love each other and we happen to be playing in the same team,” Kate told the BBC of their relationship. “I feel quite proud that I was brought up around hockey, where there have been lots of different ethnicities, religions, sexualities, and so on. It’s normal, and I feel proud of that.”

2. Brianne Theisen-Eaton and Ashton Easton

Sports: They’re both two-time Olympians, but their national loyalties are split. Brianne is competing as a heptathlete for Canada, and her husband Ashton is a decathlete competing for the USA.

Their story: They met at the University of Oregon and got married in July 2013, a year after they both competed in the London Olympics. They share a coach — he even officiated their wedding — and they train together near their home in Eugene, Oregon.

Aww alert: Brianne regularly posts adorable photos of herself with her husband on her Instagram account.

3. Jen Armbruster and Asya Miller

Sports: They both play goalball, a sport specifically created for blind athletes, for the USA’s Paralympic team.

Their story: Jen has played in six (!) Paralympic games since 1992, and Asya thought of her as a role model before they met while playing the game. They won a silver medal playing together in Athens in 2004, and got married in 2007, one year before winning the gold in Beijing. They had their first child, a son named Ryder, in 2011.

Aww alert: “Occasionally we do argue like spouses and our teammates laugh at it. And sometimes we use terms of endearment on the court,” Asya said in an interview for the upcoming games.

4. Carmen Marton and Safwan Khalil

Sports: The powerhouse Australian married couple is competing on the country’s Taekwondo team. This will be Carmen’s third Olympic appearance and Safwan’s second.

Their story: The “glamour couple” of Australia’s 2016 team first met in 2002 at a junior championship in Greece, but didn’t start dating until years later. They got married according to Islamic law before competing in the London games in 2012, and had a civil ceremony in Australia after.

Aww alert: They’re part of a four-person team heading to the Olympics. One of their teammates is Carmen’s sister Caroline, and the other is their good friend Hayder Shkara. Their coach? Safwan’s brother Ali.

5. Federica Pellegrini and Filippo Magnini

Sports: Both swim for Italy, but Federica’s star shines a bit brighter: she has set a ton of records for her home country, and was the first female Olympic champion from Italy. She’ll also be the flag bearer for Italy during the opening ceremonies.

Their story: They got together in 2011, and have been living together since 2012. In addition to swimming together for their country, they’ve also posed nude for Italian Vanity Fair.

Aww alert: “If he asked me to marry me right now, I would say yes,” Federica said in a recent Vanity Fair cover story.

6. Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and Chris Walker-Hebborn

Sports: Both are gearing up for their second Olympic appearance swimming for Great Britain.

Their story: Soon after they started dating in early 2014, British media dubbed them a “golden couple” for their winning swims in that year’s Commonwealth Games. They’ve been together ever since, often documenting their love for each other on Instagram.

Aww alert: Siobhan-Marie had a big turnaround in her swim meet times in 2014, a change she attributes to her boyfriend. “We are just so close, and because we are going through it together it works really well,” she told The Guardian.

7. Irvette and LJ van Zyl

Sports: The South Africans are both running for their home country. Irvette is competing in the marathon for the second time, and L.J. will try for a medal in 400m hurdles for the third time.

Their story: They met in 2004 at a junior track and field competition in South Africa and started dating four years later. The duo got married in 2012 and welcomed baby Louis last year (but he’ll stay home when his parents jet off to Rio). Like many countries, South Africa has its male and female athletes sleep separately in the Olympic Village, so the van Zyls won’t be sharing a room.

Aww alert: Irvette often posts ridiculously cute photos of Louis on Twitter.

8. Chris and Gabby Adcock

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Sports: Not only do the spouses both play badminton for Great Britain, they play together as a mixed doubles team! This will be Chris’s second Olympics and Gabby’s first.

Their story: The Adcocks first met on the badminton circuit as children, and eventually married in 2013. Chris played with another partner in the 2012 Olympics, but after their early defeat, he paired up with Gabby, and the two have played together ever since.

Aww alert: “It’s about knowing each other inside out. We’re so used to being together, 24/7 we have total trust. We know we are going to work our socks off for each other,” Gabby told The Telegraph. “It would feel unusual not to play with each other. We know what to say, more important we know what not to say.”

9. Lewis Holland and Charlotte Caslick

Sports: Both are playing rugby sevens for Australia; Lewis for the men’s team and Charlotte for the women’s. This will be the first Olympic appearance for both.

Their story: Lewis and Charlotte fittingly met at Australia’s sevens headquarters, and they now live together in Sydney.

Aww alert: “I guess we have our teammates, who are our closest mates, but it is a nice thing to be able to share it with your partner as well,” Lewis told the Herald Sun. “It is great that we can experience that together, and hopefully come away with a couple of medals.”

Mollie Shafer-Schweig / BuzzFeed

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