Elena Dell Donne, newly minted US Olympian and WNBA star, has gone public about being gay and her engagement in an upcoming profile in Vogue.
The league’s reigning MVP came out in a very subdued way, affirming that she lives between Chicago and Wilmington with longtime partner and now-fiancé, Amanda Clifton. The couple also co-runs Dell Donne Skills Academy together, a basketball camp for youngsters and teenagers.
In a local interview in Rio, Donne said of the profile: “It was just one of those articles where they came into my home, spent a couple days with me, and [fiancee] Amanda [Clifton] 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.”
Sue Bird, Donne’s fellow player on Team USA, told ESPN she’s “definitely proud” of her teammate, adding that she was relieved the announcement was met so positively and without the usual hubbub.
“That’s probably the best part of the story is that it’s not a huge deal anymore,” Bird said. “Definitely from a personal standpoint but from a society stand point, that’s where we wanted to get. We wanted be in this place where it’s not a big deal. We want to be in this place where you don’t even have to make an announcement. It’s a non-issue to me in a lot of ways.”