The Untold Truth Of Bachelorette Star Gabby Windey

Fans who tuned in for Season 26 of "The Bachelor" watched as Gabby Windey, along with 30 other women, vied for the heart of Clayton Echard, the NFL player-turned-orthopedic sales rep (per Variety). Windey stood out amongst the contestants early on in the hit reality dating series, and it came as no surprise when she ended up making it to the final rose ceremony. At the end of this drama-filled season, Echard sat down with Windey and the other finalist, Rachel Recchia, telling them he didn't feel he was right for either of them. 

So, in the end, yet another Bachelor went home without a Neil Lane ring (via TV Insider). In a new twist after the dumpster fire that was Echard's run on the franchise, Windey and  Recchia will "stand by each other's side yet again as they co-star on a journey to find love" in Season 19 of "The Bachelorette" that's set to premiere July 11 on ABC.

Fans of the franchise may think they know Windey from her stint on the show, but here's a more in-depth look at "The Bachelorette" star. Read on for the untold truth about Gabby Windey.

Gabby was a frontline nurse during the pandemic

In 2013, Gabby Windey graduated from the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs Nursing School and became an ICU nurse at the University of Colorado Hospital. During the height of the pandemic, Windey was interviewed by The Athletic about working on the front lines. "We're all leaning on each other, and it really becomes a new normal kind of fast," she said. "All of health care is ever-changing because we're always trying to make sure we're doing things the best way, which comes with evidence-based practice and re-evaluating the way we're doing things." And, although she and her staff had gotten used to the changes, she said it's been difficult for everyone and different from anything she's ever gone through because of the seriousness and large-scale impact.

The reality star shared more about her work when she appeared on the January 6, 2022, episode of the podcast "Taking It Out with Bachelor Nation" with hosts Bryan Abasolo and Mike Johnson. Windey said that, although the last two years had been grueling, she was grateful she could be of help. "I'm grateful to have a skill that is much needed during the pandemic. Everybody wants to help, and this is my career," she said, adding, "I'm a nurse, and I've always loved being a nurse."

The Bachelorette's dreams came true in 2016 when she became an NFL cheerleader

Gabby Windey started dancing at age 12 and continued her passion throughout her teen and college years. In 2015, the Denver resident became a member of the dance team for the Denver Outlaws lacrosse team. Then, in 2016, the registered nurse fulfilled one of her biggest dreams when she made the elite Denver Broncos cheerleading squad — after her third attempt (via CBS4 Denver). In a 2021 Instagram video after hanging up her pompoms for good, Windey talked about being a cheerleader and recalled the moment she finally made the team. "I was overcome with joy, appreciation, and disbelief that one of my greatest dreams was coming true," she shared. "Little did I know this dream would be more than I could ever imagine or envision for myself."

Windey also spoke of her love of dance and her time as a Denver Broncos cheerleader on the "Talking It Out" podcast, saying, "It was really everything I've always wanted to do" (via Showbiz CheatSheet). She went on, saying she truly enjoyed being a part of the organization for five years and that she learned many things, such as the importance of teamwork and the sense of community. She enjoyed knowing that the girls on her squad and their management supported her.

Gabby is an award-winning humanitarian

For all of her hard work as an ICU nurse during the pandemic, Gabby Windey was a co-recipient of the prestigious 2021 Pop Warner Humanitarian Award. She shared the award along with Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, a lineman for the Kansas City Chiefs. Windey became the first female to ever receive the award, usually given only to NFL players. In a press release, Pop Warner Little Scholars wrote how Windey's "selflessness and commitment to helping others are an embodiment of sacrifice and teamwork, making [her a] model [representative] for young student-athletes across the nation."

In a video shared to Facebook, Windey thanked the organization for the award. "I'm so proud to represent Pop Warner's core value of excellence on and off the field," she shared, explaining how both the organization and the Denver Broncos "inspire" her to keep being involved with and representing her community. "I can't thank you enough for this recognition. It is truly an honor."

Her first love was a former Bachelor Nation cast member

While attending college, Gabby Windey dated Dean Unglert, a contestant on Season 13 of "The Bachelorette." She briefly chatted about the relationship during the Bachelor Nation Podcast "Taking It Out," where she revealed she had dated Unglert when she was around 18 or 19 years old, referring to him as one of her "first loves." She also said she still considers her ex "a friend," as they are "both really supportive of each other." Windey additionally shared that, during the filming of "The Bachelor," her past relationship with "The Bachelorette" alum was never even a topic of conversation (via Heavy).

Back on the October 4, 2021, episode of the "Help! I Suck at Dating" podcast, Unglert had shared that his ex-girlfriend from college would be a contestant on Season 26 of "The Bachelor" (via Heavy). Unglert went on to explain how producers of the franchise called him to ask his opinion of her when they were considering casting Windey on the show. Unglert said he gave his ex rave reviews, telling producers she was a fantastic person and that he wouldn't be surprised if she either won the heart of the Bachelor or became "the next bachelorette."

The reality star is a total 'girl's girl'

By taking one look at Gabby Windey's Instagram page, it's apparent that she loves the company of other women, as her account highlights all the solid friendships she has built during her time in college and as a Denver Bronco cheerleader. In one post where she hangs poolside with nine of her friends during a girls' weekend in Miami, she wrote, "I will never lose sight of how grateful and lucky I am to hold such close and special friendships."

Windey herself stated she was a "girl's girl" during the "After the Final Rose" special on ABC when it was announced that she and co-star Rachel Recchia were named the next two Bachelorettes. Excited about her next chapter, Windey shared, "I'm a girl's girl through and through, so having a friend by my side is the best thing I could ask for" (via Us Weekly). Anyone who watched Season 26 of "The Bachelor" would know that the description fits her to a tee, as she had become close with most of the women in the mansion, including Recchia.

Gabby's family means the world to her — especially her dad

The Bachelorette often shares photos of her beloved family on her social media accounts, and in one on Instagram with her dad, Patrick Windey, Gabby Windey wrote, "The best of the best!! ... Thanks for all you do." In another Instagram photo with her grandpa, Gabby stated, "My family may be an atypical one and we may look different from others, but I am so grateful for how perfectly to me we are stitched together and wouldn't have it any other way."

During the hometown visits on "The Bachelor," audiences got to see Gabby's close relationship with her family. Unfortunately, Patrick couldn't be by her side because his girlfriend had COVID at the time. "I really wish my dad was here tonight, and I really wish that I could get some feedback because he's the person I turn to," she says during the episode where Clayton Echard meets her family. Instead, audiences met her funny grandfather (who became a fan favorite), her aunt and uncle, and one of her cousins. Throughout the episode, it's apparent how much Gabby's family means to her.

She knows what she wants in her future husband

According to Gabby Windey's official ABC bio, the reality star is "looking for a man with quiet confidence," who has a great personality (a must) and who loves dogs. She also wants her future forever beau to be her partner in every facet of life. "Her ideal man will challenge her, communicate his feelings and work hard to equally carry the weight of the relationship," her bio reads.

While chatting with Bachelor Nation in March 2022, Windey disclosed more about what she's looking for in a partner and what she hopes to find on her season of "The Bachelorette." She said she wants to meet someone who's funny and who has emotional intelligence. She also wants a man who really knows who he is, because, as Windey explained, she knows who she is. "I feel like I am a fully developed person, and I want someone to be able to meet me where I'm at," she said. Hey, we're with her!