At the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, couple Kim Meylemans and Nicole Silveira will be battling against one another as they try to win the gold for both of their countries.
Who are Kim Meylemans and Nicole Silveira?
Meylemans — who represents Belgium — has been seeing Silveira, a Brazillian skeleton skater, for quite some time now. They met three years ago at the World Cup, but only went Instagram official recently in December 2021.
They both shared a picture of them cozying up underneath the mistletoe on the social media platform. At the time, it was a huge moment for Silveira because she wasn't sure if she wanted to put her romance with Meylemans on full display.
"I think from the beginning I wasn't 100 percent sure that's who I was and what I wanted. So it took me a while to finally be OK with it, I guess," she told TODAY. "So for a moment there, it was me hiding a lot of who I was and hiding Kim essentially from a lot of people and the closest people that I knew of us."
"But making that post was really, I think was the biggest weight off my shoulders," Silveira added.
At the Winter Olympics, the two will be competing in the sport of skeleton. It requires athletes to use a small sled to hurtle down a frozen track at very high speeds. Due to the nature of the sport, Silveira and Meylemans aren't concerned that they'll be going against one another for the top spot because technically, they won't be seeing each other on the ice.
"I think people always think of it as competing against each other, but I mean skeleton is a sport where you essentially race the clock," Meylemans said. "It's not like we stand on the line against each other. It's not like we step into a ring and have to fight each other. So I think it's it's a bit non-realistic to think that we're actually enemies."
She added that since they both come from countries that aren't known for skeleton skating, they normally have to rely on each other for support.
"We're pretty much the only athletes for our countries," she said. "So we tend to reach out to people for added support because we don't have that huge team that other countries have. And so I think we're also able to help each other in that sense."
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When the 2022 Winter Olympics is over, Meylemans and Silveira plan to spend a lot of time with one another, especially since they weren't allowed to see each other in the Olympic village, due to COVID-19 protocols.
"We have a vacation planned for sure and then we'll also do some more sliding," Meylemans said. "But obviously, it's quite tricky sometimes because obviously, Nicole lives in Canada. I live in Belgium so it's not like we get to hang out every day. It's a bit of planning, but I'll probably spend quite a bit of the summer over in Canada.
"We have some fun trips planned along the way."
The Beijing Winter Olympics opening ceremony is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 4, and airs live on NBC and Peacock at 6:30 a.m. EST, with an enhanced presentation at 8:00 p.m. in primetime.