It’s official: Paul Skenes and Olivia Dunne are dating.
Skenes, the No. 1 overall pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2023 MLB Draft, confirmed the rumored love affair during an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this week.
The couple met through Skenes’ best friend, who is dating Elena Marenas, Dunne’s roommate and gymnastics teammate at LSU.
“Just a small-world type of thing,” Skenes said of their relationship.
Talk of a Skenes and Dunne relationship sparked last month when the social media sensation, 20, shared a photo of herself wearing a Pirates hat while in Bradenton, Fla., with a Marucci black baseball glove in the background.
Rumors intensified on Tuesday when Dunne attended Skenes’ debut with the Bradenton Marauders — the Single-A club of the Pirates.
Now that the pair is out in the open, Skenes and Dunne instantly become one of the most high-profile couples in the sports world.
Dunne, who rose to social media fame during the pandemic by posting TikTok videos of her doing gymnastics, is currently the NCAA’s highest-earning female athlete and boasts more than 12 million followers on TikTok and Instagram combined.
Skenes, 21, the former LSU ace, is already the top pitching prospect in baseball and signed for a record $9.2 million out of the draft last month.
Their shared fame, Skenes said, has already brought them closer together.
“It’s nice, for sure,” Skenes said, per the Post-Gazette. “It can be a pain in the butt sometimes, to be honest, in terms of actually going somewhere. If one of us went out in Baton Rouge [La.] by ourselves, there’s probably gonna be someone there asking for something — picture, autograph, whatever.
“It’s nice to be able to have that conversation. She does get it. I do wish she could come to a baseball game and just enjoy it. It does irk me. I don’t have any control over it. She really doesn’t either. I’m sure it’ll get better as I go up levels, but that’s something I want for her.”
The couple got a taste of their celebrity during Tuesday’s game in Bradenton when Dunne had to move from her seats behind home plate to the broadcast booth thanks to the fan attention she gathered.
Dunne is entering her senior year at LSU.
Skenes is projected by MLB.com to arrive in the Major Leagues during the 2024 season.