On the same day she and the rest of the U.S. Women's National Team team prepare to take on Japan in the championship match of soccer's Women's World Cup, the team's star midfielder Megan Rapinoe and her twin sister, Rachael, turn 30. In the Instagram pic Rapinoe posted of her and her twin on Sunday, she calls her sister "my womb mate, my ride or die, the one and only...Waychael Wapinoe." (How cute are these two?!) In an interview with U.S. Soccer, Megan said since the pair were the youngest of six kids, they were often each other's closest playmates, building tree forts, playing baseball with each other, fishing for crawdads, and playing house. "We were just kind of thick as thieves growing up," she said. "A lot of times it was just us hanging out, and we did everything together."
The twins were both star soccer players at the University of Portland, but due to a string of unlucky injuries for each, the Rapinoe sisters only played together in a few games in college, according to ESPN, until a knee injury ended Rachael's playing career. She's stayed active in the world of soccer, however, as head of Rapinoe Soccer Camps, and as a soccer ambassador in several African countries.
The two take their work with youth soccer players very seriously. Both Rapinoe twins are out lesbians, and are aware that they're role models for young gay women, many of whom have attended the soccer camps. "They know they can come talk to us and that they have someone they can look up to," Megan told OutSports.com. "It's so cool to know they have someone to look up to. Maybe they want to be a pro soccer player, or even if they don't, they have someone out there who's like them."
Rachael has also been her twin sister's biggest fan. "Being from such a small town, there was no road paved for us," she said in a video for U.S. Youth Soccer. The Rapinoe sisters grew up in a rural area near Redding, California. "Going through the grind [together] ... that is definitely something that I'll hold with me for the rest of my life." When the U.S. team beat Germany and secured their spot in the championship game, Rachael took to her own Instagram to show how proud she was of her twin.
Megan said the closeness the two shared as children has carried over into adulthood. "We've always been super-close and we've always like bickered and fought and we kind of still do the same thing and have that bond through all these years," she said. "It’s kind of just stayed exactly the same, which is really special."
Images: U.S. Soccer/YouTube (1)