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'Legends only': Why Megan Rapinoe, Sue Bird's kiss at Olympics is so meaningful to fans

Rapinoe and Bird met at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and got engaged in 2020.
/ Source: TODAY

Megan Rapinoe is so very proud of her fiancée, Sue Bird, for helping the U.S. women's basketball team take home another Olympic gold medal, and fans are proud of the couple for the way they celebrated together on camera.

On Sunday at Saitama Super Arena, Rapinoe was watching from the stands as Bird won her fifth gold medal during the final match against Japan. When the game finished, Bird, 40, ran toward Rapinoe, 36, for a kiss.

NBC Olympics documented the sweet moment on Instagram, writing, "OUR HEARTS ❤️."

"I am so proud of you @sbird10," Rapinoe added on Instagram along with a photo of the embrace. "As if I could love you any more. Congrats baby."

She also took to her Instagram story to repost fans gushing over the cuteness and praising the couple for their cultural impact.

Sue Bird kisses Megan Rapinoe in celebration after the United States' win over Japan in the women's basketball final game on day 16 of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games on Aug. 8, 2021.Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images

"Medals are great. But you two being yourselves and representing on global TV is a step above gold," wrote one fan.

"WHAT A MOMENT! Legends only!" added Instagram account Lesbian Representation.

Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird first met at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images

"Such an inspirational couple!!! SHEroes!!" wrote a third fan.

"Two amazing athletes who have paved the way for so many! What legends," someone else commented.

Megan Rapinoe also shared a sweet selfie with her partner on Instagram after Bird's big win.mrapinoe / Instagram

The soccer star and the WNBA player met at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and started dating shortly after. Bird credits Rapinoe for encouraging her to publicly come out.

"What Megan helped me understand was that, yes, what I was already doing was great, living authentically,” Bird told TIME magazine. “But it was important to say it because the more people that come out, that’s where you get to the point where nobody has to come out. Where you can just live. And it’s not a story."

The pair got engaged in October 2020, and Bird shared a picture on Instagram from that special moment.

This is hardly the first time Rapinoe's publicly sung Bird's praises. Last month, when it was revealed that Bird would be Team USA's flag bearer at the Olympics, she spoke about what an honor it was.

"Obviously, she's a five-time Olympian going for her fifth gold medal," Rapinoe said in an interview prior to the opening ceremony. "I get to see just how much that means to her and how much she puts into it. So, I know this means the world to her and I just couldn't be prouder and happier."

"Beyond words," Rapinoe posted on Instagram. "I am so proud of you Sue. What an honor it is to have you lead us @teamusa and all of America back home."

Before Sunday's game, Rapinoe told NBC Sports what an inspiration Bird is to her.

"(I'm) honestly inspired, and I told her the other day, it feels like corny to say, but it's like everything you would want in someone that you would look up to. Obviously, I get to be with her and I love her, that's the most special part," the soccer star said.

"She just does things the right way. She plays with a sense of joy, she makes everyone else around her better on and off the court. She's just an amazing person, I'm going to start tearing up. You're gonna make me cry on national TV."