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8 Aug, 2021 16:03

Football star Rapinoe congratulates 1st transgender Olympic champ – and kisses basketball great girlfriend Bird after she wins too

Football star Rapinoe congratulates 1st transgender Olympic champ – and kisses basketball great girlfriend Bird after she wins too

Team USA superstar Megan Rapinoe congratulated the first openly transgender Olympic medalist as they shared a podium at the Tokyo 2020 Games – then kissed girlfriend Sue Bird after she won her fifth gold basketball medal.

OL Reign team-mates Quinn and Rapinoe both oppose bills that have drawn accusations of transphobia in the US, and the US Women's National Team captain approached the Canada star after the pair picked up their medals at the Games.

Canada won gold by beating Sweden 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out following a 1-1 draw in the final, while the US side, who describe themselves as "the best athletes in the world" on their official website, took bronze with a 4-3 victory over Australia that included a Rapinoe brace.

Champion Quinn had described the "fight" to stop discrimination against trans women as being "far from over" earlier in the tournament, while Rapinoe has labeled being on their side "dope" and called their path since declaring themselves non-binary in September "inspiring and beautiful".

"You're trying to speak on behalf of a lot of people that don't feel that way and don't feel threatened," Rapinoe told Insider about politicians attempting to pass bills banning transgender athletes from taking part in women's sports earlier this year.

Rapinoe missed out on another title after a poor tournament by the all-conquering standards of her team, who were beaten in the semifinals by a Canada side containing ever-present Quinn.

The veteran had the consolation of enthusiastically celebrating more glory for her partner, Sue Bird, after the basketball great won her fifth gold medal, continuing a sequence that began at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

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Team USA eased past Japan 90-75, making Bird and Diana Taurasi the first basketball players to win five Olympic titles.

"I am so proud of you," Rapinoe told Bird after the pair shared their affection in the aftermath of victory. "As if I could love you any more. Congrats, baby."

The couple posed with flowers as Rapinoe told her millions of Instagram followers: "Back on our 'thanks for winning, y'all' bullsh*t."

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"I couldn't be more happy," Bird told reporters, speaking after departing coach Dawn Staley had hailed the American-Israeli and Taurasi as "legends".

"It is always difficult to win a gold medal and this year was even harder, given all the challenges everyone faced: no fans, no friends and family, really isolating in a lot of ways.

"For our team to deal with the adversity everyone else is dealing with and never let it get us down, to be sitting here now with gold medals around our necks is really special."

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