Married couple share Olympic gold

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(BBC) Team GB captain Kate Richardson-Walsh and wife Helen have become the first same-sex married couple to win an Olympic gold in the same final.

The win over the Dutch means Kate, 36, and her spouse, 34, are also thought to be the first married couple since 1900 to win medals on the same team.

Helen and Kate Richardson-Walsh have nearly 35 years' experience in hockey's top flight between them (BBC photo)
Helen and Kate Richardson-Walsh have nearly 35 years’ experience in hockey’s top flight between them (BBC photo)

The pair played their first Olympic Games together at Sydney in 2000.

Fellow members of Reading Hockey Club have described them as an “inspiration”.

They became the first British married couple to win gold since Cyril and Dorothy Wright in the sailing in 1920.

Helen, from Nottinghamshire, who scored in the penalty shoot-out, said: “To win a gold medal is a dream come true – to win it standing next to my wife is really special.”

Their romance reportedly began after Beijing in 2008 and the couple wed in 2013 after playing in the bronze-winning London 2012 squad.

Ahead of the Rio Games, Manchester-born Kate spoke to the BBC about their relationship.

“It’s not that interesting for us, but I can see why it’s interesting to everyone else.

“When we’re at work, we’re Kate and Helen, just two separate players, and the coaches and players are fantastic about treating us in that way.

“And when we’re away from the pitch, we’re a couple.

“What has changed since I first came in the team is that it’s just accepted – some of the team have boyfriends, some have girlfriends – it literally doesn’t matter.

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

At Reading Hockey Club, fellow members watched the nail-biting climax to the Olympic final.

Club coach Andy Watts described them as “great role models”.

Georgia Bootha said: “They’ve done so much for this club over the years – everyone looks up to them so much.

“How hard they work and what they do for hockey is amazing. Hopefully it’ll really inspire people to come and play.”

 

 

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