The Ridiculously Romantic Stories of Married Olympians
Olympians are #goals and all, but you know what's even goal-ier (that's totally a word, don't question it)? Olympians in love. And because there's nothing better than having yet another celebrity pair to swoon over, we've rounded up nine couples who met their match in Olympic heaven. And bonus: one pair actually had their first kiss during the games!
Emil Zatopek and Dana Zátopková
Gold medalist long distance runner Emil Zatopek and gold medalist javelin thrower Dana Zátopková were born the same day and year—so yeah, you might call it fate. These two had a famously sweet moment where Zatopek jokingly took credit for "inspiring" his wife's win, to which she quipped, "Really? OK, go inspire some other girl and see if she throws a javelin fifty metres!" They got engaged before the 1948 London Games, and Zatopek popped the question with the iconic line, "Listen, I think that it could be quite fine for us to get married."
Bart Conner and Nadia Comaneci
Nadia Comăneci and Bart Conner are both gymnasts, and the story of how they met is fascinating. Apparently, theses two were at a gymnastics competition before the 1976 Games, and were asked by a photographer to kiss for a photo-op. Comăneci was just 14, so obviously sparks didn't fly—but she met Conner again while she was being held hostage by Constants Panait (who helped her flee from Romania). Apparently, Conner helped her escape from Panait, so he's a literal knight in shining armor. "It was a light for me," Comăneci said. "I was afraid to tell people I was in trouble, but I was always hoping someone would come and take me away."
Jared and Claire Tallent
Australian gold medalist race walker Jared Tallent married fellow race walker Claire Woods in 2008. Apparently their wedding was a media circus because c'mon, how often does a love connection between two race walkers happen?
Jessica Hardy and Dominik Meichtry
These Olympic swimmers met while in college at Berkeley, and swam their way into each other's hearts (sorry). And yes, they celebrated their wedding by wearing matching Mr. and Mrs. Speedo swimsuits.
Mirka and Roger Federer
Tennis pro Roger Federer met his wife, Mirka Vavrinec, while competing in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. He was just 18 at the time, so the couple dated for a full nine years before getting pregnant and tying the knot. Oh, and get this: they had their first kiss at the games: "We spent two weeks together, that's how we got to know each other and on the last day before we left, we kissed for the first time in Sydney," Federer said. "So Australia is a big place for me to come back to."
Katy Kurkova and Matt Emmons
Gold medalist shooter Matt Emmons wandered into a beer garden after a crossfire mishap during the 2004 Olympics, and happened to meet his wife, Katy Kurkova. Oh, and she happened to be an Olympic shooter. "I can picture the whole thing still," Emmons said. "I looked up, like 'Holy smokes, she's talking to me.'" Sigh, adorable.
Kristi Yamaguchi and Bret Hedican
Gold Medalist figure skater Kristi Yamaguchi met her Olympic Hockey player husband, Bret Hedican, at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France. They started dating three years later, got married in 2000, and get this—Yamaguchi hung up her skates in exchange for family time, saying, "I burnt myself out of skating. I was ready to focus on being a mom."