Just in time for Valentine's Day, skeleton sliders Kim Meylemans, of Belgium, and Nicole Silveira, of Brazil, will compete in the women's event on Thursday, February 10. (A full skeleton schedule for the 2022 Winter Olympics can be found here.)
Usually, you'd expect to find a longtime rival at a World Cup race, not a long-term partner. Meylemans met Silveira on the skeleton tour a few years ago, but it took them a while to go public with their relationship. They shared a picture this Christmas on Instagram, kissing under the mistletoe.
"I think people always think of it as competing against each other, but I mean skeleton is a sport where you essentially race the clock," Meylemans told TODAY. "It's not like we step into a ring and have to fight each other. So I think it's it's a bit non-realistic to think that we're actually enemies."
Silveira added: "We're pretty much the only athletes for our countries. So we tend to reach out to people for added support because we don't have that huge team that other countries have. And so I think we're also able to help each other in that sense."
Meylemans placed 14th at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, and ranked 12th in the 2021-22 World Cup standings. Silveira, who placed 19th during the World Cup season, will make her Olympic debut at the 2022 Winter Games. Neither is considered a serious medal contender, but larger upsets have happened on the world's biggest sporting stage.
As of press time, Meylemans hasn't commented on the other love in Silveria's life.