Sue Bird: 5 Things About WNBA Star & Team USA Flag Bearer At Olympic Opening Ceremony
Learn all about Sue Bird, the WNBA superstar who has been selected as one of two flag bearers to lead Team USA at the opening ceremony of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
WNBA superstar Sue Bird will perform a special honor during the opening ceremony of the 2021 Summer Olympics. The 40-year-old athlete has been selected as one of two flag bearers, the other being MLB star Eddy Alvarez, to lead Team USA during the kick off of the Tokyo Games. Sue — who will also be competing at the Olympics in women’s basketball — called her selection “an incredible honor” after it was announced on July 21.
So who is Sue Bird? From her incredible basketball career to her fairytale romance with an iconic soccer star, HollywoodLife has rounded up everything there is to know about Sue. Learn all about her below!
Sue Bird competing for Team USA in the Summer Olympics (Photo: Shutterstock)
1. Sue Bird holds American & Israeli citizenship.
Sue holds duels citizenship in both the U.S. and Israel. She was born in Long Island, New York to Herschel and Nancy Bird. Her parents and grandparents are Russian Jewish, so she was able to secure an Israeli passport. “It was cool, because what I found was in this effort to create an opportunity in my basketball career, I was able to learn a lot about a culture that I probably wouldn’t have tapped into otherwise,” she said in an interview of becoming an Israeli citizen. “Part of it was being just immersed and basically living there for a little bit, and it was one of the best experiences.”
While she operates under duel citizenship, Sue almost always represents her birth country, that being the U.S., during international competitions. However, she did play on three Russian basketball teams during WNBA off-seasons in the mid 2000s.
2. Sue was a star basketball player for UConn.
Sue’s basketball career skyrocket during her college years at The University of Connecticut. During her senior year in 2002, the Huskies went undefeated and Sue won the Wade Trophy and the Naismith Award as College Player of the Year. Overall, she finished her career at UConn at the top rank of the three-point field goal percentage and free throw percentage lists. She also finished second in assists and steals, according to her college sports bio.
Sue Bird competing for Team USA at the Summer Olympics (Photo: Shutterstock)
3. Sue was drafted into the WNBA in 2002.
Sue was selected first by the Seattle Storm in the 2002 WNBA draft. She recently re-signed with the team on a one-year deal, securing her 18th season in the league — thus breaking the record for most seasons played in the WNBA. In addition, she’s currently the oldest active player in the organization right now at age 40.
Sue won four WNBA championships with Seattle in 2004, 2010, 2018, and 2020. She has also been selected to the WNBA All-Star team eleven times and to the WNBA-All team eight times. Talk about a legend!
4. Sue is engaged to Megan Rapinoe.
Sue is currently engaged to Megan Rapinoe, 36. Sue and Megan, an iconic member of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), met at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Megan “originally slid into Bird’s DM’s to ask about the WNBA’s activism,” according to Harper’s Bazaar. At the time, Megan was catching heat for her decision to kneel during the national anthem before games, a move done in solidarity with Colin Kaepernick’s campaign to protest the killing of Black people by the police. Sue later came out as a lesbian in June 2017 and confirmed that she and Megan had been dating for several months.
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In October 2020, Sue and Megan took their relationship to the next step and got engaged after four years of dating. The happy couple shared the big news with an Instagram photo of Megan kneeling on the edge of an infinity pool and placing a ring on Sue’s finger.
5. Sue has four Olympic gold medals.
As if her accomplishments weren’t enough, Sue has four Olympic gold medals under her belt. She’s been on the U.S. Women’s Olympic Basketball Team roster for the Summer Olympics in 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016, and all four times she and her teammates walked away with the gold. Now, Sue and the her fellow athletes seem poised to take home yet another gold medal for their home country. Go USA!