US Olympic queen and her Russian wife reveal baby news after secret 2-year marriage
A two-time Olympic women's basketball champion has revealed that she married her Russian wife and fellow female player two years ago in secret – and they are expecting a baby.
In an emotional announcement, WNBA legend Candace Parker said that her wife, four-time Russian champion Anna Petrakova, is pregnant with their child.
Showing snaps of the pair at their wedding on the second anniversary of the happy occasion, Parker told her Instagram following of more than 914,000 that she had "married my best friend in front of our close relatives and friends" in the ceremony.
The 2008 and 2012 Team USA gold medalist also shared a response from Petrakova, whose profile photo shows the Russian flag on her face, saying: "I can't wait for the rest of my life with you."
"I cried like a child," Parker said of their big day. "To know you or me means to know our love.
"This journey has not been easy. I am proud of us, of what we have created and of who we have become, both individually and together.
"Thank you for constantly testing me and pointing out mistakes. I am grateful to you.
"I appreciate you and what we have. We have always dreamed of adding to our family.
"You have no idea how beautiful you are. Glowing, realizing that I have to love, kiss and talk to your belly. I can't wait to start this next chapter in our life together."
Parker voiced her gratitude to Petrakova over her care for her 12-year-old daughter, Lailaa.
A five-time Russian National League champion with UMMC Ekaterinburg between 2010 and 2015, Parker had Lailaa with Sheldon Williams, the former NBA star who she was married to between 2008 and 2016.
Candace Parker and her daughter Lailaa ❤️🥺 pic.twitter.com/QbGWiDgAk2— ESPN (@espn) October 17, 2021
Williams and Parker are said to remain on amicable terms and share joint custody of their daughter.
"Thank you for always loving Lailaa as your own, for being my calmness, my support, my voice of reason, my laughter, my hugs, my dance in the rain, my happiness, my home," Parker gushed to Petrakova.
"It’s surreal that we now have a baby on the way. Lailaa is pumped to be a big sister."
Parker and her daughter revealed last year that they are part of the ownership group of Angel City FC, a new National Women's Soccer League expansion team whose co-founders include film star Natalie Portman.