The ESPY Awards hold a special place in Danica Patrick and Aaron Rodgers' romance as they first met at the same soirée in 2012

By Karen Mizoguchi
July 18, 2018 07:43 PM

Danica Patrick and Aaron Rodgers made their debut as a couple at the biggest night in sports!

The pair walked the red carpet at the 2018 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles on Wednesday, officially attending their first big public event together since they confirmed their relationship in January.

Patrick, 36, and Rodgers, 34, color-coordinated in black as the first-ever female ESPYs host wore a one-shoulder dress featuring metallic polka dots while the Green Bay Packers quarterback looked dapper in a black tuxedo.

During the three-hour show, the duo starred in an I, Tonya parody with Patrick channeling Tonya Harding while Rodgers played a character inspired by Harding’s husband, Jeff Gilooly.

RELATED: Danica Patrick Promises to Poke Fun at the Athletes (and Herself!) as the ESPY Awards Host

Aaron Rodgers and Danica Patrick

In fact, the ESPY Awards hold a special place in their romance, as they first met at the same soirée in 2012.

“We met at the ESPYs in 2012. We both remember meeting each other, it was quick,” Patrick said on Jenny McCarthy’s SiriusXM radio show in May. “I got his email address, and I remember thinking to myself, ‘Oh, not a phone number? Just an email address?’ ”

And this year is an especially big occasion for Patrick, as she takes on the hosting duties.

RELATED: Danica Patrick Opens Up About Aaron Rodgers Romance and Why She’s Retiring From Racing

Aaron Rodgers and Danica Patrick
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

During an appearance on Monday’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the retired race car driver revealed her NFL boyfriend would be her date to the big event — and would be spared from any embarrassment during the show.

When asked by Kimmel if she planned to poke fun at her boyfriend on live television, Patrick simply responded, “Absolutely not,” before adding, “You’ll have to see.”

Yet, Kimmel — who has hosted many awards shows himself — advised her that there was no way she couldn’t make fun of Rodgers. “You gotta call out the elephant in the room?” she replied. “Or the hot guy in the room, I should say.”

Danica Patrick and Aaron Rodgers
Reinhold Matay/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Rodgers, who helped lead the Packers to victory in the 2010 Super Bowl, ended his relationship with actress Olivia Munn in 2017 after three years together.

Meanwhile, Patrick was previously dating NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for five years before their split in 2017.

The ESPY Awards air live July 18 on ABC at 8 p.m. EST.

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