Actress and fashion influencer Olivia Culpo has been off the market since 2019. The 27-year-old has been dating Carolina Panthers running back, Christian McCaffrey, and judging by their social media posts, their relationship is still going strong. But how much do we really know about the handsome athlete? And how did his romance with Olivia begin? Here's what you need to know.
Christian McCaffrey comes from an athletic family.
He was born in Colorado to former NFL wide receiver Ed McCaffrey and former soccer player Lisa McCaffrey. The 23-year-old also has three brothers (Max, Dylan, and Luke) — all of whom are football players — so it's safe to say that the sport runs in the family. When Christian was just seven years old, he knew that he wanted to follow in his dad's footsteps.
Regarding his dad's influence over the years, Christian told NFL 360, "I think he's an unbelievable mentor, he's a great friend... He's a human being that I like to copy because he's done it so well, he's done it the right way."
His father currently runs the "Dare to Play" football camp, a program that gives people with Down syndrome the opportunity to play the sport, and Christian has been been deeply involved since day one. He opened up about how rewarding it's been to help build his dad's legacy, saying, "You get to do something in the community that's bigger than yourself and I think that's the most important thing."
He broke several records as a football player in school.
When Christian attended Valor Christian High School in Colorado, he played wide receiver, running back, cornerback, and punter. He broke a bunch of records, including career total touchdowns (141), career all purpose yards (8,845), and career touchdown receptions (47).
These numbers helped earn him the Gatorade Football Player of the Year title for Colorado in 2012 and 2013, but this wasn't the only sport that he played. He also tried his hand at basketball and track & field, where he placed second in the 100-meter dash as a sophomore.
Like his father, Christian moved on to play football at Stanford University in 2014. And much like high school, he broke a number of records, especially in his sophomore season.
In 2015, he set a new record of 3,864 all-purpose yards, breaking Barry Sanders’s NCAA record of 3,250. Plus, he set new records for rushing yards in a single game and all-purpose yards in a game. Christian also made history by becoming the first Stanford player to rush for 2,000 in a season, ranking second in the nation with 2,019 rushing yards.
Christian volunteered in Rwanda while he was in high school.
He's shared quite a few adorable throwback photos from his time in Africa. During the summer before his senior year of high school, the athlete traveled to Rwanda and volunteered doing construction work, but it looks like he also gained a second family. He shared one photo of himself with an older woman and captioned it: "Me and my Rwandan mother! Best sower in the world!"
He's a musician and producer.
Aside from being a standout football player, Christian is also skilled at playing the piano and the harmonica. He described making music as one of his "big passions," which is why he tends to gravitate towards his recording studio in Denver during his time off.
When he was asked about where that passion stemmed from, he explained how an old friend from school convinced him to learn an instrument. He told ESPN, "[My friend] told me it would get all the girls if we learned how to play. I was probably in eighth grade and I was going into high school so I said 'sign me up.' There was a talent show with a little bit of a bonus in high school and so we learned a little song together and ended up winning it."
From that point on, he continued to pursue music. He also revealed that he's been working with fellow artists Lost Kings and Levi Todd, who described him as one of the most talented piano players they'd ever heard.
The athlete also has an executive producer credit under his belt after working on the 2017 film Unicorn Town. The documentary, which follows the story of a championship football town in Germany, was directed by Nick Alfieri.
Christian said, "It's an underdog story about the rise of a team. And it's amazing to see the influence that American football has on this small town in Germany. The whole town rallies behind American football. It's kind of unheard of."
How did Christian meet Olivia Culpo?
Shortly after Olivia's split from Danny Amendola, fans caught wind of the two exchanging Instagram likes. They followed each other for the first time in April of 2019, then in July, they were spotted holding hands while vacationing in Cabo.
By October, it was revealed that they'd already been "quietly dating" for several months. One source told Hollywood Life, "They met through mutual friends. Things are going great between them."
The source continued: "It has been an easy fit because they like a lot of the same things like working out and having dinners with friends. [Olivia] has even gone to a handful of his games to support and cheer him on. She really likes how grounded and considerate he is to her. They are just a normal couple and Olivia loves that."
The couple recently celebrated Christian McCaffrey's new contract.
On April 14, 2020, news got out that Christian was rewarded with a $64 million contract extension, which makes him highest paid running back in the NFL. He celebrated with his partner in crime, Olivia, who popped a bottle of champagne to celebrate the good news
In a statement, Christian shared: "I’m so excited to continue my career in Carolina. I want to thank Mr. Tepper, Marty Hurney, and Coach Rhule for the opportunity to help lead this great franchise, and to all my teammates for their help along the way. And to Panthers fans, KEEP POUNDING!"