In the most touching and underreported news from the sports world this year, Julie Chu and Caroline Ouellette, Olympic and World Championship rivals from the USA and Canada respectively, announced that not only were they a couple, but had had a baby together. These two titans of ice hockey are some true rockstar babes. Chu is a decorated hockey veteran, having played in four winter Olympics and collected one bronze and three silver medals, as well as boasting five World Championships medals. Meanwhile, Caroline Ouellette played in the same four winter Olympics, ousting Chu in all four to take home the gold in each with the Canadian team. Don’t let the Olympics stats fool you, though: Chu ousted Ouellette right back with the US National team, beating her in four consecutive World Championship competitions.
Now, these two rivals have become a dynamic duo both on the ice and off as they played together for Les Candiennes, and subsequently fell in love and had a baby together this past November. This addition of a new member to their family makes for three badass ladies of the rink. Chu and Ouellette’s Instagram pages proudly display photos of baby Liv in tiny team USA and Les Canadiennes jerseys, and mini black crocheted ice skate booties. If this is not enough to melt the frost off this subzero winter, than their obvious shared joy sure is.
In an era where LGBTQ citizens who find themselves in the spotlight often remain in the closet to placate the haters, these two have burst out in a heartwarming display of love, dedication, and empowerment. Couple this with gay figure skating Olympian Adam Rippon's recent FU to Mike Pence, and this is turning out to be the most memorable Olympics season in years. This is both for the legendary skill of these Olympians and for the backbone it takes for them to stand up to years of patriarchy, homophobia and hate and to project this mantra loud and clear: We’re here, and we have no fear. Baby Liv Chu Ouellette, you sure do have some big skates to fill, and we are sure you will not disappoint. We know you will continue to shatter the ice ceiling just like your moms continue to do every day. Happy Valentine's Day, baby “Chulette” (as Chu dubbed her in one post), and to your beautiful family!
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Lindsay Valentin has traveled the globe writing on arts, culture, travel and LGBTQ issues worldwide. Follow her on Instagram @lvalentin77.