Meet the Team USA Paralympics power couple

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Tara Davis and Hunter Woodhall continue Olympic journey at Tokyo Games (Getty Images)
Tara Davis and Hunter Woodhall continue Olympic journey at Tokyo Games (Getty Images)

Fans are expressing their support, and love, for an athletic power couple who both made it to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Hunter Woodhall, a 22-year-old sprinter and two-time Paralympic medallist, who is dating 20-year-old Team USA Olympic long jumper Tara Davis, is currently in Tokyo, where he is competing for gold.

However, the sprinter’s journey to Japan with Team USA is even more special as it comes after Davis also competed in the Olympic Games earlier this summer, where she placed sixth in the women’s long jump.

The track and field stars’ love story first began at a track meet in Idaho four years ago, where Davis told Elle she was interested in Woodhall upon first sight.

“When I first saw him, I was like: ‘Oh my god! This boy is fine!’ I had to figure out who he was,” she recalled in July.

According to Woodhall, their first interaction consisted of Davis walking up to him and hugging him, with the Olympian telling the outlet he was impressed by the long jumper’s boldness.

Following the instant connection, the couple decided to make a relationship work long distance, as Woodhall lives in Arkansas and Davis was living in Texas.

Over the past four years, as the pair have worked towards their respective athletic goals, they have also worked together as a couple, with fans eagerly following along on their journeys on social media, where they have more than 327,000 subscribers on YouTube, and hundreds of thousands more on their respective Instagram pages.

In June, when Davis posted a photo of herself and Woodhall embracing and announced they would both be heading to the Olympic Games this summer, more than 95,000 fans liked the post.

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Since then, the couple, whose time in Tokyo did not overlap, has continued to inspire and delight their fans as they have documented their individual journeys and their support for one another.

“I cannot express how proud I am of you. Last year Tara Davis was not ready to compete in the Olympics. Last year Tara was fighting injuries, tough competitions (when you could actually compete), mental health, and so many other battles. To see what you did yesterday motivates me more than you know,” Woodhall captioned a photo of himself and Davis earlier this month after she competed at the Games. “You are my hero and I can’t wait for you to be home to celebrate an amazing season together.”

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Davis has also candidly expressed her love for her boyfriend of four years, with the Olympian sharing a photo of the pair on 11 August and revealing that she already missed Woodhall after dropping him off at the airport.

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As for what they hope fans learn from their relationship, Woodhall, who was born with fibular hemimelia, a congenital disability, and had both of his legs amputated before he was one, previously told Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s charitable organisation Archewell that he wants people to know he and Davis are just “two normal people” who are following their dreams.

“I want people to know we’re just two normal people,” he said. “We bring a lot of diversity into our relationship, and we want to be really transparent about that. Tara is a woman of colour. I have a disability. We want people to know that whoever you are, whatever situation you’re in: it’s okay and that’s what makes you special and unique. Be proud of yourself and go chase your dream.

“We’re living proof that if you put your mind to it and put in the work, crazy, wild things can happen.”

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Woodhall has been following, and achieving, his dreams since he was young, as the Paralympian previously made history when he became the first double amputee to earn a Division I track and field scholarship upon his acceptance to the University of Arkansas.

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At the Rio Olympics in 2016, Woodhall won the silver medal in the 200m and bronze in the 400m. While in Tokyo, he will compete in the 400m and 100m races.

Of the importance of having Davis’ support going into the Tokyo Games, Woodhall told Elle he doesn’t think he would be able to do it without her, nor would he want to.

“Tara’s support means the world to me. I don’t think I could do it without her, and I don’t think I would want to,” he said. “Both of us have been through a lot, especially in our track careers. It’s easier to get through stuff when we do it together.”

On social media, fans of the couple have continued to cheer them on as their Olympic journey continues.

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In the comments under a photo of the pair hugging, which Woodhall captioned: “Can’t wait to have you back in my arms,” one fan wrote: “We can’t wait either, but first things first get that medal.”

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