Fans of Bravo’s Below Deck are quite familiar with Chief Stew Kate Chastain’s adventures on the high seas, but back in January, Kate surprised everyone when she revealed her newest adventure had to do with a completely different body of water: the lady pond! Kate broke the news on January 1 with a photo of herself kissing a mystery brunette woman along with the tweet: “I’m not gay…..but my girlfriend might be.”
Here’s that photo:
I'm not gay…..but my girlfriend might be. pic.twitter.com/hc9tmyt0ja
— Kate Chastain (@Kate_Chastain) January 1, 2016
Ever since that New Year’s Day tweet, Kate has been sharing numerous photos with her new girlfriend “Ro” on Twitter and Instagram, but she still hasn’t shared her full name. “She’s smart and athletic and gorgeous,” Kate told The Daily Dish about Ro back in January. “I’m not gonna say who she is quite yet, but she’s pretty amazing,” she added.
Last week, Kate’s Below Deck co-star (and former potential future Mr. Kate Chastain) Ben Robinson appeared on Watch What Happens Live! and shared his thoughts on Kate’s new lady. “I like her girlfriend. She’s obviously a superstar,” Ben says. “She’s a pro-athlete, soccer player. A very special, a very positive person. I think it’s great. I’m very happy for them and it’s kind of fun to watch. It’s nice.”
Not only did Ben meet and approve of Ro, he also played a huge part in convincing Kate to see her in the first place! “I think I was hanging out with [Ben] in Fort Lauderdale when she started texting me, and I showed him a photo,” Kate told The Daily Dish. “I was like, ‘I don’t know what’s going on, Ben, but I think this girl is coming onto me.’ And he looked at her and was like, ‘Wow, she’s gorgeous. Go for it.’ I actually have to give Ben a little credit.”
In the early stages of the relationship, Kate seemed just as surprised as everyone else — and she was quick to not put a label on the relationship or her own sexuality. “I think every single human that knows me is going to be surprised by the news because this is out of character for me. If I break up with this girl, I don’t think I would really be interested in dating girls after this,” Kate said. “I don’t really think about labeling it too much. I just feel like I met somebody whose company I enjoy, and that’s just all I’m calling it.”
Well, that was more than five months ago! Kate might need to call it something at this point. 😉
Now, back to the mystery of Ro! It didn’t take a whole lot of detective worth to figure out who Kate Chastain’s girlfriend is, given the information we had plus her social media accounts. (Not to mention the Instagram photo above with her full name.) Ro is Rocio Hernandez, a former professional soccer player originally born in Madrid, Spain. Here is her full bio to date, pieced together from numerous online sources:
Rocio “Ro” Hernandez first started playing soccer at the age of five in her hometown of Madrid, where she was part of the Tres Canto FC. Ro and her family later relocated to the United States where she continued to pursue soccer. She received numerous awards for her soccer skills in high school — first at Hobbs High School in New Mexico, and later at Pearland High School in Houston, Texas.
Ro stayed on the pitch in college, playing for University of Texas El Paso in 2003-2004 before transferring to Florida Institute of Technology — which is located in Kate Chastain’s hometown of Melbourne, Florida.
While at FIT, Ro raked in the accolades for her soccer prowess! “Hernandez competed on the women’s soccer team at FIT for three years from 2004-2006,” reads one of Ro’s online bios. “In addition to being the team’s captain, she was Team MVP and Offensive Player of the Year in 2004, Defensive Player of the Year in 2005 and 2006, and she was the first FIT female ever to be earn All-Region honors in 2006.”
Just after graduating from FIT with a B.S. in Multimedia Communications, Public Relations, Advertising, and Applied Communication, Ro got a major surprise when she was approached by the Puerto Rican national women’s soccer team! Ro’s mother was Puerto Rican, but the offer still came as a big surprise to Ro.
“It was totally unexpected. I never really thought of myself as Puerto Rican because I’ve always called myself a Spaniard,” Ro said at the time. “But when they asked, I really wanted to give Puerto Rico a chance. I’m half Puerto Rican and now I really feel it.”
But getting on the team wasn’t the only major surprise in store for Ro. From FIT.edu:
As the Puerto Rican coach was addressing the team before its first match against the Cayman Islands, Hernandez was concentrating on the match to come. Then another surprise came. The coach named her second captain, mainly for her penchant in relating to both American and Puerto Rican players. She promptly responded when she scored Puerto Rico’s second goal in a 4-0 rout of the Cayman Islands. “I’m in the middle of this match and all I can really think is how real this is,” Hernandez said. “Sometimes I still don’t think it’s real.” Puerto Rico went on to beat Haiti 1-0 to advance to the second round of Olympic qualifiers.
After college, Ro did, well, pretty much everything! She coached, she played professional soccer, she became a personal trainer, and she did marketing as well as graphic and web design. Here are some timelines of Ro’s activities broken down into four categories:
2005-2006 Cocoa Expos – Cocoa Beach, FL
2007 FC Indiana – Goshen, IN – WPSL
2008 FC Energy – Russian Professional League (Premer liga)
2008 FC Naftohimic – Ukrainian Professional League
2009 San Francisco Nighthawks (Team Captain) – WPSL
2010 California Storm (Team Captain) – WPSL
2010-2011 FC Gold Pride – WPS
2011 Gavle FC D1 (Swedish Professional Soccer)
2005-2006 Head Coach JV – Melbourne High School – Melbourne, FL
2004-2008 Coach / Trainer – MegU Soccer
2006-2008 Varsity Coach – Viera High School – Rockledge, Florida
2006-2011 Recruiter Coordinator / U-17 Assistant Coach / Olympic National Team Captain – Puerto Rico National Soccer Team
2009-2010 Assistant Coach, Women’s Soccer – Academy of Art University – San Francisco, CA
2008–2011 Owner of ~Death~Ro~ Xtreme fitness training
2010-2011 Private Trainer – Millennium Sports Club – Los Angeles, CA
2011 Director of Marketing – Accelerate Sports Performance
2011 Content Manager / Sales and Marketing – Netpulse
2013-2014 Graphic and Web Designer / Production – Sky Advertising Inc.
2013-2014 Creative Director / Co-founder – RiDesign Graphics LLC
2014-2015 Director of Marketing and Advertising – NSFit
I hate surprise snapchats pic.twitter.com/IexpStvYBU
— Kate Chastain (@Kate_Chastain) April 5, 2016
????-2015 No idea
2016 Became half of KaRo, the super sexy celebrity couple comprised of herself and Below Deck star Kate Chastain
Congratulations to Kate and Ro! Hopefully we will get to see them both in some capacity on Bravo soon. Perhaps Kate could appear on WWHL and Ro could tend the bar? You KNOW Andy wants any and every reason to say “The Lady Pond” repeatedly. Plus, the always hilarious Kate will sure to be dropping gems like this one:
That awesome moment you & your girlfriend's cycles finally synch. Now we only have to borderline split once a month instead of twice. ?⌚️?‼️
— Kate Chastain (@Kate_Chastain) April 20, 2016