10 February 2020

Olympic gold medal winning hockey couple Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh share their love story as part of Team GB's 'stronger together' feature ahead of Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Hockey stars Kate and Helen Richardson-Walsh wrote their names into the history books at the 2016 Rio Olympics as the first same-sex married couple to win an Olympic gold as team-mates.

The pair, who married in 2013, played in four Olympic Games' together and both announced their retirement after topping the podium in Rio.

They have since been honoured by the Queen and also welcomed their first child, Pfeiffer, into the world and spoke openly in a video about how the accepting nature of Team GB led them to their successes and allowed them to thrive as players.

The video was part of Team GB's 'This is what makes us' feature, a campaign to remind athletes and spectators we are stronger if we work together and that everyone has a story to tell.

Talking about the feature Kate said: “Of the athletes that will compete in Tokyo, not one single story will be the same. 

"They will have faced ecstatic highs and devastating lows, all with the hope of one day putting on the Team GB kit, competing on the greatest sporting stage and doing the nation proud – ‘This Is What Makes Us’ tells that story in the most perfect way.”

"One of the things that makes Team GB so unique and so special is the fact that it accepts differences," said Helen.

"The fact that it supports its team, whoever they are and whatever they want to be and achieve."

"We feel so lucky that the team accepted us for ourselves and as a couple because if they hadn’t done we wouldn’t be here with gold medals and as we are now."

Kate agreed with Helen's sentiments and praised her wife, adding: "I genuinely don’t know whether I would have been the woman that I am and therefore have achieved the things that I have without having Helen by my side."

She also went on to reveal that there was a poignant moment between the two on the podium in Rio.

"I remember somebody took a picture and captured the moment on the podium and the medals were being handed out," she said.

"Susannah Townsend was in between us on the podium and we’d been given our medals and had a look at them and we just had a moment when we peered back behind Susannah’s back and just have a little high five with each other.

"Somebody captured it and sent us that image and it was just really special because it was about the team and it was about the squad but just in that moment I got to appreciate it with Helen, my wife, and it was really special."

However, the two hockey stars do manage to put aside their feelings and let their competitive sides take over on the field.

"Training with Helen was good if I was on her team," said Kate.

"But not so good if i wasn’t on her team because it meant that Helen would win and I would probably lose!"

Both women regarded the atmosphere and welcoming nature of Team GB as a major factor in their successes and believe their public display of love for each other is helping inspire others.

Kate added: "We’ve just had so much love and support and everyone can see how much we love each other.

"I think we’re quite open with how we feel about each other and i think people can align themselves with that. 

"There’s something aspirational about that. They want that in their lives and it’s nice to see someone feeling that sense of love for another person."

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