Ms. Pancochova, a 3-time Olympic snowboarder from the Czech Republic, was in the United States instruction and Ms. Barley, an American, had flown in from Portland, Ore., to go to her. With the United States and Czech borders mutually shut to every other, the females briefly regarded as strolling down the aisle.
“For Sarka to get her eco-friendly card and not get worried about if she’s heading to be ready to occur into the States or not because of Covid — it was absolutely on the intellect,” reported Ms. Barley of the likely benefits of acquiring married.
However Ms. Pancochova has publicly pledged to abstain from marrying — in any place — right until the Czech Republic legalizes gay marriage. A relationship-equality monthly bill has been languishing in Parliament since June 2018.
“Covid has examined our determination to that vow,” claimed Ms. Barley, who is effective in marketing and advertising and is the mom of an 8-year-old daughter, Khayla. In June, when Ms. Pancochova left the United States for the reason that of an expiring visa, the pair was not sure of when they would future see each other. Nevertheless, the Czech border reopened to the single associates of citizens in July and in September, Ms. Barley flew to Prague for 20 times.
The few was once more reunited in late December, when — just after one failed attempt to get back into the United States — Ms. Pancochova, a qualified athlete who trains and competes in the United States, was capable to procure a B1 organization visa.
She ideas to return to the Czech Republic for the Snowboard World Cup in March. With no United States competitions on the horizon for the spring and summer season off-season, the two ladies are not confident what is next. But, for now, the pair continues to be dedicated to not marrying.
“There are times when you are really about it, but there’s no quitting,” Ms. Pancochova stated. “You love the human being and you want to be with them, so you drive by means of.”