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Celeb: Are Steph Rice and Kobe Bryant a couple?

Could this be a new Olympic couple?

Social media’s going crazy with reports there’s love in the air for Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice and US basketball superstar Kobe Bryant.

The rumours have been going on for weeks now, but they gained momentum last night when Steph and Kobe were spotted in the crowd at the velodrome cheering on Aussie cyclist Anna Meares (who won gold, just FYI.)

The SMH reports the pair first met in 2008 during the Beijing Olympics, but caught up again before the London games while they were both training in Manchester.

Rice and some team members attended the Dream Team game in Manchester, and then the following morning Bryant arrived at one of the team’s training sessions, met up with some swimmers, and then singled out Rice.

He told her she was a favourite of his daughter, and asked if she would sign a swim cap for him to give his daughter. Rice naturally obliged and in return she got a pair of Bryant’s shoes.

“It was a pretty good trade, but I don’t know whether they will fit into my suitcase,” she said.

While social media went into a frenzy, we wouldn’t be rushing out to find that bookmaker who bet on who Rice’s new boyfriend would be, trying to get big odds about it being Bryant. While they are estranged, and his wife Vanessa did file for divorce last year, there has been speculation they were giving it another shot, and the couple were seen enjoying themselves with their daughters at the final night of the swimming program last Saturday. Sadly for his daughter, Rice didn’t swim that night.

Stephanie has previously dated fellow swimmer Eamon Sullivan and broke up with rugby star Quade Cooper last year.

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