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The first same-sex couple to compete in the Olympics have won gold

Reuters/Vasily Fedosenko
Kate Richardson-Walsh (left) celebrates a goal earlier in the tournament.
  • Olivia Goldhill
By Olivia Goldhill

Science reporter

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

British field hockey players Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh have become the first same-sex married couple to win an Olympic gold in the same final.

The Rio games already were historic for the couple, as they became the first same-sex married couple to compete in the Olympics. Their win against the Dutch makes them the first British married couple to win gold since 1920.

“To win a gold medal is a dream come true—to win it standing next to my wife is really special,” Helen told the BBC.

The couple has competed in the Olympics together four times, starting with Sydney in 2000. They began dating after the Beijing games in 2008 and wed in 2013.

Before the Rio games, Kate Richardson-Walsh told the BBC that she and Helen are “just two separate players” on the pitch, and a married couple off the pitch.

“The best thing is the reaction we’ve had from the public in that we’ve helped people feel more confident in themselves,” she said. “People feel it’s OK to come out as bisexual or gay or lesbian—that’s been the best thing for me.”

After leading her team to victory, team captain Kate announced that she would retire from international hockey, having reached the very top of her game—with her wife by her side.

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