Diver receives poolside proposal
China's He Zi had won silver medal
Qin Kai gives thumbs up to crowd
Second proposal of the Rio Games
Love is in the air at Rio 2016 – and the world’s top athletes are getting in on the act.
Just moments after receiving her silver medal in Sunday’s 3-meter springboard event, China’s He Zi was asked to take a very different kind of plunge.
The 25-year-old was met by boyfriend Qin Kai, a fellow Olympic diver, who bent low on one knee by the podium before offering up a box containing an engagement ring.
She appeared shocked, and covered her mouth before Qin placed the ring on her finger and gave a “thumbs up” to the spectators.
“We’ve been dating for over six years,” He Zi told reporters.
“I didn’t know that he would propose today, and I didn’t expect that I would marry myself out so early.
“He (Qin) said a lot of things there at the podium. He made a lot of promises, but the thing that has touched me the most is that I think this is the guy I can trust for the rest of my life.”
Qin, a bronze medalist in the men’s synchronized 3-meter springboard, also gave his wife-to-be a red rose encased in glass.
The proposal quickly went viral – but some questioned Qin’s decision to propose so publicly, and suggested it was mean to upstage Zi, taking attention away from her moment of sporting glory.
“I feel like it is a bit awkward,” said one Weibo user. “Some say proposing in front of the whole world is romantic, I think it’s rather awkward for He Ze.
“She seemed at a loss what to do and nervous, not as excited as other women when being proposed [to],” the Chinese micro-blogging site user wrote.
“What if He Ze turned him down under this circumstance?” questioned another. “Will it be awkward for both of them? Is it really nice to propose under this circumstance?”
Qin and Zi’s is the second engagement to take place at a Rio Games venue, following that of Brazilian rugby player Isadora Cerullo and girlfriend Marjorie Enya last Monday.
But there was no ring on that occasion, as Enya used a gold ribbon to tie around Cerullo’s finger.
“The Olympic Games can look like closure but, for me, it’s starting a new life with someone,” Enya told the BBC. “I wanted to show people that love wins.”