This WNBA star just publicly came out *and* she’s engaged!
Elena Delle Donne is already having a pretty amazing summer. Between being in-season with her WNBA team the Chicago Sky to competing in the 2016 Olympics, she’s keeping her busy schedule packed with totally impressive feats. And she’s now adding one more reason for us to admire her even more.
In a recently released Vogue article, Delle Donne talks openly for the first time about her engagement to her longtime partner Amanda Clifton.
Della Donne has never hid the fact that she and Clifton are close, but has certainly kept their private life out of the public eye. While her teammates and those closest to her have known, she’s never officially addressed it until now. She told ESPN reporters during a press conference for the upcoming Olympics that she felt like the time was right to share.
“I decided I’m not at all going to hide anything,” she said.
When Vogue wanted to get in depth with the Olympian about her life, it felt dishonest to exclude such an important element.
She explained, “It was just one of those articles where they came into my home, spent a couple days with me and Amanda is a huge part of my life. So to leave her out wouldn’t have made any sense. It’s not a coming out article or anything. I’ve been with her for a very long time now and people who are close to me know that and that’s that.”
Della Donne was clear she wants to protect Clifton from the same public scrutiny she faces.
“The biggest thing is respecting Amanda’s privacy as well. She’s not on the stage, she doesn’t need to be interviewed and I don’t want her to have to feel that way.”
Delle Donne also said that she doesn’t plan on continuing to share all details of her private life with the public.
She added, “As the future keeps moving on, I don’t plan on having our relationship out in the public and all this media on it, but obviously there’s excitement right now because people see it for the first time.”
She’s quick to clarify that her same-sex relationship is just one part of the article, not at all the focus.
“It’s not a coming out article or anything. I’ve been with her for a very long time now and people who are close to me know that and that’s that.”
Her fellow Team USA teammate, Sue Bird, said to ESPN that she was not only proud of Della Donne for coming out, but she was glad that her personal life wasn’t a big deal to anyone (like it has been for people in the past).
We’re super happy for these two incredible people. We wish all the best luck to Della Donne as she competes for Olympic gold and have no doubt Clifton will be right by her side, cheering her on every step of the way.