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Pioneering Tennis Star Martina Navratilova Proposes to Her Girlfriend at U.S. Open

Pioneering Tennis Star Martina Navratilova Proposes to Her Girlfriend at U.S. Open

Pioneering Tennis Star Martina Navratilova Proposes to Her Girlfriend at U.S. Open

Congratulations to the happy couple!

TracyEGilchrist

Tennis superstar and pioneering out athlete Martina Navratilova got down on her knee and proposed to her girlfriend Julia Lemigova during the U.S. Open at Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York on Saturday. And since Lemigova said, “yes,” Navratilova, the winner of 18 Grand Slam titles, is now engaged!

57-year-old Navratilova asked Lemigova, whom she’s dated since 2006, to marry her in the Tennis Channel suite between matches, the Associated Press reported. The crowd at the U.S. Open went wild as the proposal was televised on the Jumbotron, according to People.

"I was very nervous," Navratilova said, according to the AP. "It came off. She said yes. It was kind of an out-of-body experience. You've seen people propose at sporting events before, in movies, in real life. Here it was happening to me. It was like I was watching myself do it."

Navratilova, 18 Grand Slam singles titles, ruled women’s tennis in the ‘70s and ‘80s following her 1975 defection from former Czechoslovakia. She came out publicly in 1981.

When NBA player Jason Collins came out in 2013, Navratilova had the following to say to The Huffington Post about her own coming out process:

"I defected in 1975 from Czechoslovakia, then Czechoslovakia. And I got my political asylum and applied for U.S. citizenship, which was due in 1981. And if I came out as gay, the Naturalization Service could have said, 'No, we're not going to give you your citizenship because you are gay.' That was a disqualify--it could have been a disqualifier to get my citizenship, so I kept quiet. I didn't lie. When reporters asked me, I just didn't answer the question. I said, 'That's private, and I'm not going to talk about it.' And then, once I got my citizenship, you know, I didn't have to hide anymore."

Congratulations to Navratilova and Lemigova! Here’s a picture of the momentous occasion. 

 

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Tracy E. Gilchrist

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.

Tracy E. Gilchrist is the VP, Executive Producer of Entertainment for the Advocate Channel. A media veteran, she writes about the intersections of LGBTQ+ equality and pop culture. Previously, she was the editor-in-chief of The Advocate and the first feminism editor for the 55-year-old brand. In 2017, she launched the company's first podcast, The Advocates. She is an experienced broadcast interviewer, panel moderator, and public speaker who has delivered her talk, "Pandora's Box to Pose: Game-changing Visibility in Film and TV," at universities throughout the country.