There's only one Megan Rapinoe. You know her. You've heard her name. She's made the news plenty in the last few years. From trash-talking the president to backing it up with a World Cup, Rapinoe is redefining the badass American athlete. With pink hair and a bright smile, there's no way you could mistake Rapinoe for any other face.
Well, there is one other face. Despite what I just wrote, Rapinoe is not the only Rapinoe. She's one of five siblings. One sibling, in particular, shares a closer familial relationship with the U.S. soccer legend than the rest. Her name is Rachael Rapinoe, and she is Megan's twin sister.
Didn't know Megan Rapinoe had a twin? Meet Rachael Rapinoe.
Megan Rapinoe's Twin Sister Rachael Rapinoe
Rachael Rapinoe is Megan Rapinoe's fraternal twin sister, a small business owner and former college soccer player. Rachael is the cofounder and CEO of The Mendi Co., which specializes in hemp-derived CBD products.
Like her sister Megan, Rachael is an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights, identifying as gay. According to Cyd Zeigler's "Five Rings to Rule Them All" podcast, Megan accidentally outed Rachael to their parents while the sisters were in college.
Megan and Rachael attended the University of Portland in the famously liberal pacific northwest. They came out to each other in college. Their conservative parents at first were not happy about their daughters' sexualities.
Megan Outed Rachael To Their Parents
During an argument with her mother, Megan yanked herself and Rachael straight out the closet. Rachael holds no grudges about the incident, realizing it had to happen sooner or later.
"I was heartbroken. I was going through my first real breakup, and so my mom came up to Portland because she knew something was going on," Rachael explained.
"I was at class, and her and Megan got to talking, and Megan came out to her. She didn't take it very well, and she was very upset, and Meg's second reaction after coming out was, 'Well, Rachael's gay too!'" Rachael said. "And that's basically how I came out. Which was fine. I really didn't care, because I probably wouldn't have said anything for a very long time, so you know, I should thank Megan for blasting me like that."
As may have guessed from that story, the Rapinoe Twins share much in common. From best friends to soccer teams to knee injuries, let's explore their near-identical childhood.
Rachael Rapinoe's Soccer Career
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Much of Rachael's story is Megan's and vice versa. Raised in ultra-conservative Redding, California, under the shadow of Mt. Shasta, they idolized their older brother Brian Rapinoe, Jim and Denise Rapinoe and their two other siblings. (Their childhood is detailed in Megan Rapinoe's autobiography "One Life," available on Amazon.)
The young women often played the same sports for the same teams, even playing the same position.
Both sisters chose to focus on club soccer with Elk Grove United instead of high school ball at Foothill High School. They both joined the University of Portland Pilots upon graduation. The Pilots won the NCAA Women's Championship when the twins were freshmen.
The US Women's National Team took notice of Megan, but Rachael never received the call. When Megan tore her ACL playing with Portland, Rachael took over her sister's place as the team's goalscorer. Rachael was even named the West Coast Conference player of the week.
Three successive ACL tears ended Rachael Rapinoe's playing career. Megan has suffered three ACLs as well, but she kept on playing. In case you don't know how that story goes...
Megan Rapinoe's Career
Megan Rapinoe is Muhammed Ali with pink hair and a soccer ball. Rapinoe is loud, brash and hilarious. Most of all, she backs up all talking with dominant performances.
Professionally, Rapinoe has won two National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) titles with Seattle Reign FC and USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo. SRFC later became Reign FC and is currently OL Reign, denoting new ownership. The Tacoma-based OL Reign is managed by the group which owns Olympique Lyonnaise, the French fútbol club known as Lyon. Rapinoe played professionally for Lyon from 2013-2014 but plays for OL Reign today.
Internationally, Megan Rapinoe is one of the most widely-recognized soccer stars on the planet. Off the pitch, the female athlete's signature look and social justice-oriented activism have brought more attention to women's equal pay and Black Lives Matter.
She kneeled during the national anthem alongside Colin Kaepernick, enraged Donald Trump by declining a visit to the White House and raised social justice awareness on social media. On the pitch, the midfielder is a force of nature.
Megan Rapinoe EVERYONE ???@USWNT x @TeamUSA x #TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/TbDs7sDDOv
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) July 30, 2021
Rapinoe assisted in the 2012 London Olympic gold medal match against Japan, earning Rapinoe her first and (so far) only gold. She led Team USA to titles at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup and 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup. For her 2019 performance, Rapinoe won the tournament's golden ball, FIFA Women's Player of the Year, several ESPN ESPYs and the Ballon d'Or Feminin.
Rapinoe is still at the top of her game today. Her fiancée is a four-time WNBA Champion with the Seattle Storm, Sue Bird. The pair met at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and represented the United States in Tokyo 2020. Rachael Rapinoe may not be there, but Megan will likely bring some of her CBD gummies for recovery. (Just kidding, that probably isn't allowed.)
There's only one Megan Rapinoe. But she only has one twin sister.