Growing up as a figure skater, my dream was always to fall in love with an NHL player and become a Canadian icon. Tessa Virtue has paved the way for young women and girls to achieve their wildest dreams, both by becoming the most decorated female ice dance athlete in Olympic history and by dating Maple Leafs defenseman and alternate captain Morgan Rielly.
A Globe and Mail article recounts the timeline of the iconic Canadian relationship, which began in late 2019 or early 2020. On January 8, 2020, the couple attended the Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Gala together in Toronto. It was here that dating rumours and excitement around this couple began. A couple of comments back and forth on Instagram started to confirm that Virtue and Rielly had sparked a romance. While we were all speculating, Rielly’s teammate Auston Matthews said that he, too, had to pry the relationship information out of Rielly because he is a private person.
The rumors were confirmed when Virtue was joined by Rielly during an Instagram live with Max Kerman from the Arkells. The couple described their time together during quarantine and how they were staying active and sane in such a difficult time. Throughout the timeline of their relationship, Virtue and Rielly’s media presence began to grow. Most posts on the couple’s Instagram pages were little hints at their relationship.
The first official confirmation that this iconic relationship had taken its next step came with Virtue’s interview on the “Without Losing Your Cool” podcast in 2023. During the interview, Virtue revealed that she and Reilly met through mutual friends and were now engaged. Again, literally my childhood dream. Finally, on February 1, 2024, Hello! Canada magazine revealed that Virtue and Rielly had tied the knot in 2 separate, intimate wedding celebrations. Enjoying their relationship without blasting it through the public eye, Virtue and Rielly have been able to enjoy their time together and grow into the married couple they are now.
Rielly is still an All-Star player for the Toronto Maple Leafs and is taking part in the All-Star Games this year. While Rielly continues to play hockey for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Virtue retired from her ice dance career after the 2018 Olympics, where she won her second Olympic gold. Virtue has since become a media personality, showing up in many magazines and interviews; she was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2023, the Walk of Fame in 2018, and was named into the Order of Canada in 2020.
Congratulations, Virtue and Rielly, you are the blueprint for all young Canadian athletes who dream to be like you when they get older.