CARSON, CA - FEBRUARY 20: Kristie Mewis #22 of United States looks on during a match between New Zealand and United States as part of SheBelieves Cup 2022 at Dignity Health Sports Park on February 20, 2022 in Carson, California. | Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images

Kristie Mewis was one of the most-discussed athletes amongst Outsports staff ahead of the Tokyo Olympic Games last summer. The reason? While many of her fans reached out telling us she was publicly out, Outsports couldn’t find the media interview or social media post where she confirmed it.

On this week’s episode of Outsports’ Five Rings To Rule Them All podcast, Mewis talks about considering herself publicly out at the time. She also said she understands she hadn’t specifically acknowledged it to the wider public.

“I was out meaning I was open about my sexuality I think. I was just open and honest and authentic about it,” Mewis said, also acknowledging that she maybe hadn’t specifically addressed it, though she also made it clear she wasn’t hiding it. “I was open with how I was living my life without having to say it.”

It was in response to a number of LGBTQ Olympians clearly living life comfortably open that I wrote a column during the Olympics about this very dynamic.

Mewis also talked about the moment she spent with her girlfriend, Sam Kerr, on the pitch after her Team USA defeated Kerr’s Australian team for the bronze medal. The photo got shared widely and elevated the speculation that the two women were dating (they had yet to confirm it publicly).

“I don’t really think we knew that anyone was int he stadium still, because we thought it was empty. So someone snapped a picture of us. It was a moment we were sharing together, and we also didn’t care if anyone else saw it.”

Kristie Mewis and Sam Kerr shared a lovely moment after their bronze-medal match at the Tokyo Olympics. The moment was captured by a photographer and shared widely.

Still, the wide circulation of that wonderful photo ultimately led to the two lovebirds sharing their love on social media.

“We had been together for a little bit before then. And we just felt that we wanted to share it. It was something we didn’t want to hide. We just wantt o be authentic and true to ourselves on social media and with our followers and i think we both try to, as much as we’re both comfortable with, use our platform to make people feel safe and make peopel feel valued.”

Mewis is currently part of a campaign with Six Star Nutrition celebrating the anniversary of Title IX and offering fans the chance to win an unsigned jersey from their favorite women’s soccer player.

“I think it’s absolutely incredible,” Mewis said of the celebration of Title IX. “The players before me have sacrificed so much and have made it such a good environment for us to play.”

You can listen to the conversation with Olympian Kristie Mewis on the Five Rings To Rule Them All podcast on Megaphone, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple podcasts and many more platforms. Just search for Outsports wherever you get your podcast.

And be sure to follow Five Rings To Rule Them All on Twitter.

You can follow Mewis on Instagram and on Twitter.