SEATTLE — When it comes to power couples, Sue Bird and Megan Rapinoe might be Seattle’s biggest.
The Seattle Storm and Reign FC superstars have been dating for more than a year. Watching the couple interact, they’re definitely still in the honeymoon phase.
They smile and lean toward each other. They shoot each other glances.
When they play basketball, they can’t stop laughing long enough to take it seriously.
“I’m like a giggle monster every time,” Rapinoe said.
Q13 News’ Michelle Ludtka sat down with Bird and Rapinoe for an exclusive interview. We learned where the power couple strives together. How they practice, how they learn from each other and how they connect while living independent lives as professional athletes.
The interview will air in three parts, starting at 9:30 p.m. Sunday on JOEtv and 10:30 p.m. on Q13 FOX. Below is part one.
On giving each other advice
For couples with different careers, it sometimes may be hard to relate regarding work.
Not true for Rapinoe and Bird.
Both are superstars in their respective sports. Bird, 37, has won two WNBA championships with the Storm, four Olympic gold medals and been selected to nine WNBA ALL-Star teams. Rapinoe, 32, helped the United States women's soccer team win gold in the 2012 London Olympics, and help lead the Seattle Reign to the 2015 NWSL Shield.
To be able to talk about their work life has been an asset to their relationship.
"We kind of know the areas where we need to motivate a little bit or back off or just be there," Rapinoe said.
Bird said it's funny because they often give the same advice. One week she'll tell Rapinoe to keep her head up about an injury. The next week Rapinoe will tell her the exact same thing.
"We're giving each other the same advice," Bird said. "Not always listening to it, but listening to it."
Rapinoe described their advice and encouragement as a "pendulum that swings back and forth." When one is down, the other steps up. It's a balancing act.
"We can kind of be that rock for the other person," Rapinoe said.
On their seasons and working out
One of the easiest parts about basketball and soccer is the seasons match up. When it's time for Bird to bunker down and train, it's time for Rapinoe, too.
"We're kind of doing the exact same thing," Rapinoe said. "Just on different teams."
Of course, they have different training styles. Rapinoe is a little more laid back when it comes to routine. Bird likes things the same way all the time. They both want to win and accomplish the same thing, they just go about it different ways.
But a little bit of Bird is rubbing off on Rapinoe.
"She's starting to get more into a routine," Bird said.
Neither is too competitive with each other. They strive to be the best at their individual sports. But when it comes to Rapinoe on the court or Bird on the pitch, they know what's up.
"We leave it at the gym," Rapinoe said.
On supporting each other at the games
Bird and Rapinoe are mainstays at each others games. Always the loudest, always ready to cheer. Each has season tickets to their partners sports.
"I'm a huge Storm fan," Rapinoe said. "I'm totally into the Storm."
It's easier this year than it was last year, they both agree. Why? Because both teams are doing well. The Reign FC are 7-2-4 this season and look to win another NWSL Shield. The storm are third in the Western Conference at 8-4. Both teams are vying for playoff spots.
"It was a frustrating season last year," Bird said. "It makes all the difference.
And when they can't watch each others' games, they're watching it on the-go.
"We always have the iPods out and the apps open," Rapinoe said.