NFL star Zach Ertz and soccer star Julie Ertz have been together for almost a decade.
Each has risen to the pinnacle of their sports: Zach's a Super Bowl champ and Julie is a World Cup winner.
Here's how the all-star couple has made long-distance work throughout their relationship.
Julie Ertz is heading to her second Olympics this year as a starting midfielder for the US women's soccer team. Her husband, Zach Ertz, is a Super Bowl champion and tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles.
While you may have only heard about them for the first time when a video of Julie finding out Zach was going to the Super Bowl went viral in 2018, the two are actually college sweethearts, and they have been together since 2012.
Here's a full timeline of their relationship, from when they met at a Stanford baseball game in 2012 to today.
Spring 2012: They meet at a baseball game in college. Julie played soccer for Santa Clara University, while Zach played football at Stanford.
The two college athletes met at a baseball game at Zach's school, Stanford.
"I saw Julie and thought, 'I have to go sit next to her,'" Zach told Diablo Magazine in May 2019. "There was an empty seat next to her. So I sat there, and we started talking a little bit. And from there we started hanging out more, started dating, got engaged, and got married."
Julie remembers their relationship started with texting.
"We initially met at a baseball game at Stanford. We had mutual friends. After I won the U20 Women's World Cup [in 2012], he sent a congrats [text] on our win," she told ESPN in July 2017. "Then I watched a football game that he was in, and he scored this huge touchdown. I texted him, 'Congratulations, so cool to see you doing well.' I guess a little bit of succeeding kindled our relationship!"
They also told Philly Mag about how they met.
"He offered her some sunflower seeds; she did most of the talking. Their first date that winter: Chipotle," wrote Richard Rys in August 2018.
2013: Julie is called up to the USWNT in January 2013, while Zach opts to skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft. He is picked by the Philadelphia Eagles in May 2013, putting them in a cross-country relationship.
Zach was a second-round pick for the Eagles. Julie simultaneously remained in school in California while also playing for the US Women's National Team in multiple appearances, including the 2014 CONCACAF Women's Championship, which put her on the road to her first World Cup win.
January 2014: Julie gets drafted to the Chicago Red Stars, a NWSL team.
That officially put them in a long-distance relationship, with Julie in Chicago and Zach in Philadelphia - cities they still play for today.
"Our relationship is tough, there's no other way to put it," Zach said in 2019. "We do a ton of long-distance. And so the only way we're able to do what we do is because of the love we share for each other and the power of our faith. I trust her and she trusts me - otherwise I don't think we'd be able to be successful."
July 2015: Julie wins her first World Cup - Zach is there to support his girlfriend as she plays every minute of all seven games.
Julie was also the second-youngest person on the team, at 23. She was only older than 22-year-old Morgan Gautrat (née Brian), her future Red Stars teammate.
This also happened to be Zach's first international trip - he made it all the way to Canada to watch. "It counted," he joked to Philly Mag.
February 2016: They get engaged at Stanford University, where they met.
Zach proposed at Stanford's baseball field, Klein Field, where they met in 2012.
"She said yes!! My best friend made this the best day of my life! #MrsErtz," he captioned a photo of him proposing.
Summer 2016: Julie heads to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Zach supports her the whole way, though he can't be there due to football.
"It's tough. The meeting schedule here is very extreme but I think they'll have (the games) on NBC.com probably, where I'll be able to replay them," Zach told the Eagles in 2016.
"At the time being, neither of us is focused on the accomplishments that we've had. When we're done with our careers, we'll be able to look back and reflect on the things we've done but neither of us are finished or have reached our potential yet," he added.
March 2017: The Ertzes tie the knot in Santa Clara, California.
During their (very) short off-season, the two shared a home in the East Bay, outside of San Francisco, near where Zach grew up.
May 2017: Zach attends a Red Stars game in Chicago, and it's very cute.
"Once we got married, it definitely got tougher at times," said Zach, regarding the long distance. "But we've laid a great foundation."
Zach posted the same photo on his Instagram, with the caption "Proud Husband. Support Your Woman!!"
July 2017: They pose nude together for ESPN's Body Issue.
You can see more photos of the two on Julie's Instagram.
"I feel very comfortable in who I am now, and he's definitely a part of it - continuing to say how beautiful my muscles are, or he loves when I'm running or working out. He's behind me, he wants me to succeed and pushes me. That's been really special the past five years now," Julie told ESPN at the time.
Zach also spoke about their supportive relationship, especially as he dealt with injury.
"She'll drop whatever she has to come out to Philadelphia, even though she's playing in Chicago. It's definitely a burden to take that time off from her sport, but she knows that sometimes you have to do that in order to help the other person out," he said.
December 2017: Sports Illustrated follows the two around for a day, learning about their new apartment in Philadelphia, their faith, and more.
"I'm just so proud of Zach. Being an athlete myself, I see all the hard work I do in my sports, so it's really cool to see your spouse doing it too," Julie said.
The article also showed how Zach and Julie FaceTime each other before every game, how Julie and Zach's mom go to church and attend every home game together, and how the couple unwinds by playing "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare."
"Our relationship isn't really based on our success as athletes," Zach told Sports Illustrated. "We love each other for the company. The sports are just a season of our life that we're in."
The next day, Julie was named Female Player of the Year.
"YUPPPP!! That's my wife!! So proud of you @julieertz!!," Zach captioned the photo.
January 2018: The Eagles beat the Vikings to make it to the Super Bowl, and Julie's reaction goes viral.
As Julie was playing with the USWNT at the same time as the NFC Championship Game, she didn't know if her husband was making it to the Super Bowl until after she'd played a game against Denmark. Hence, her tearful reaction with her teammates.
"It was definitely a surreal experience to have the whole world watch me cry," Julie told Diablo Magazine later.
Similarly, Zach was busy with post-game interviews and wasn't able to see the viral video until later that night, when a reporter showed it to him. Zach also got emotional watching his wife's reaction.
"It's emotional for me not to have her here," he said. "But I can't wait to get home and celebrate with her."
February 2018: Zach wins the Super Bowl with the Eagles, and Julie is there to celebrate.
"Congrats to my best friend. I am beyond proud of you!!! #Godissogood," Julie captioned her Boomerang.
June 2018: They start the Ertz Family Foundation.
According to a press release, "The Ertz family Foundation focuses their charitable efforts on youth sports and education and have most recently been a partner in the Beyond the Field initiative."
The foundation's Instagram bio similarly states, "Our mission is to empower others by sharing faith, learning through sports & advancing education."
July 2018: They attend the ESPY Awards together.
They were there to celebrate Julie's nomination for Best Female Athlete, which she ended up losing to snowboarder Chloe Kim. The Eagles were also nominated for Best Team, but they lost to the Houston Astros.
February 2019: Julie plays in the 2019 SheBelieves Cup, and Zach gets his very own fancy jersey.
Luckily enough, one of the host stadiums was Subaru Park, right outside of Philadelphia.
June 2019: Julie competes in the World Cup, this time in France. Zach is there to root on his wife and her team.
"He's my No. 1 supporter and fan," Julie told the Philadelphia Inquirer that month. "To be able to have him there - and obviously, hopefully celebrate with him in the end - I'm very grateful for him and his support and of course the [Eagles' support] as well."
Winning the quarterfinals wouldn't be the only thing to celebrate, though ...
July 2019: The USWNT takes home another World Cup trophy, Julie's second.
You can see the actual selfie here:
Later that month, to celebrate the win, Zach surprised his wife on "Good Morning Football." When asked how the hosts got him to wake up so early, Zach sweetly replied, "Only for you, love."
December 2019: Julie is once again named Female Player of the year.
"Our relationship wasn't built on Julie's ability to play soccer and my ability to play football," Zach explained to ESPN in May 2019.
"Don't get me wrong," Julie added. "We want to give sports everything we have. But this career isn't something you can do forever."
April 2020: Zach celebrates Julie's birthday with a post about how they're spending "literally EVERY single second with one another" in quarantine.
"Happy birthday to my best friend, partner in crime, and beautiful wife @julieertz !! Going to be the best birthday ever because we get to spend literally EVERY single second with one another!! Happy birthday love," he wrote.
March 2021: They celebrate their fourth wedding anniversary.
"Happy anniversary to my best friend @julieertz!! What an amazing adventure it has been and I LOVE doing life with you," wrote Zach on Instagram.
"Happy anniversary @zachertz!!! What a joyful, adventurous, loving 4 years it has been! Can't even put into words how much I Love You," wrote Julie.
July 2021: Julie is heading to her second Olympics - and you can bet Zach will be cheering her on the whole time.
Julie has another chance at Olympic gold this year in Tokyo - and judging from her husband's retweets, he'll be cheering her on from Philadelphia.
Read the original article on Insider