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Married lesbian hockey players become first gay couple to compete together in Olympics

Joe Williams August 9, 2016

Helen and Kate Richardson-Walsh made history last weekend when they took the field for their first match.

The hockey players became the first married couple to play together on the same team at the Olympics.

The pair helped Great Britain achieve victory, as they won the match over Australia, 2-1.

Defying the odds, skipper Kate, 36, retired in 2014 but decided to make a comeback for Rio, whilst Helen is competing despite two lots of back surgery in 12 months.

They previously won a bronze in the London 2012 games, but this time the ladies are going gold and won’t let anything stand in their way.

We won bronze in London and that was amazing. But ever since I’ve played this sport I’ve wanted to be a champion,” Helen told The Sun.

“And I want to give it everything for Rio to try to do that.”

The pair also say they want their sexuality and relationship to be seen as “a normal thing” which influenced their “conscious decision” to come out.

“We’re not out there shouting it, it’s just part and parcel of who we are,” Kate said.

Helen added: “If you are really open about it, people say, ‘Why do you make such a big deal about it?’

“If you don’t mention it you could be seen as hiding it, which we didn’t want either.”

She also revealed that since coming out, the pair have received nothing but support from fans and teammates alike – especially those they’ve inspired.

“Those messages we get from time to time have made it really pleasing that we have been so open,” Helen said.

“When people say ‘you’ve helped me come out to my parents’ or ‘deal with my own sexuality’ it’s really powerful.”

History was made again last night, when a lesbian couple got engaged at the Rio Games – the first to do so.

This year’s Olympic games features a record number of out LGBT athletes, with an estimated 42 LGBT athletes set to compete.

More: Gay, helen richardson-walsh, kate richardson-walsh, LGBT, olympics, Olympics, Rio 2016

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