Megan Rapinoe, Sue Bird volunteer at Seattle's mass COVID-19 vaccination site

Cassandra Negley
·3-min read

Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird spent their Wednesday helping Seattle residents get vaccinated for COVID-19.

The power couple volunteered at Lumen Field Event Center, the first mass vaccination site in the city. One year ago it was home to an Army field hospital to treat an influx of COVID-19 patients.

Rapinoe, Bird help Seattle residents get vaccinated

Rapinoe, a forward for the U.S. women's national team and NWSL's OL Reign, and Bird, a four-time champion with the WNBA's Seattle Storm, were two of 500 volunteers at the site for day 3 of mass vaccinations.

The location is being called the largest civilian-run COVID-19 vaccination site in the U.S., per the Seattle Times. There's capacity for 22,000 people per day, as long as vaccine supply allows it.

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The couple, who became engaged after leaving the WNBA bubble last year, signed up to volunteer through the Storm.

"It's been so much sadness and grief," Rapinoe told NBC station KING 5 in Seattle. "Obviously we know the death numbers and how many people have gotten it. [We know] just how much COVID has touched people's lives and how much a struggle it's been. So for us to be able to do something positive and exciting is really cool."

Rapinoe is with OL Reign training for the Challenge Cup that begins in April. She'll be with the U.S. national team on its two-match European swing as a tune-up for the Olympics next month. Bird and the Storm won't start training camp until some time in late April. The reigning champions will defend their title beginning in May if the WNBA season begins on time.

Rapinoe and Bird helped with health screenings as people arrived at the site, which is what the photos are taken from. In the afternoon they switched to directing people to vaccination stations, per the Times.

Rapinoe, Bird keep active in volunteer work

Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird are active in community work and activism. (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)
Megan Rapinoe and Sue Bird are active in community work and activism. (Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

Site supervisors knew the superstar Olympic gold medalists would be there, but other volunteers and people arriving for their vaccinations didn't, per the Times. The two made a short speech to thank volunteers. Many of those workers are front-line workers for the city who were moved over the the event center to help, the Times reported.

Rapinoe was with Bird in the WNBA bubble, where the 40-year-old won her fourth WNBA title. Bird also helped lead the league in campaigning for Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock in the 2020 election and ensuing runoff against former Atlanta Dream owner Kelly Loeffer.

The couple got engaged shortly afterward and have been busy ever since. Two days before the presidential election they jumped on a Get Out the Vote phone banking event and spoke to volunteers before their shifts. It was a pseudo pep talk for the mostly Washington-based group.

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