An Olympic engagement
04:03 - Source: CNN

Story highlights

Queen Harrison on Will Claye's proposal: "It was perfect"

Helped by fans, Claye climbed 20 feet to the stands to get to his now-fiancée

CNN  — 

When two athletes fall in love, it’s not just Olympic rings you have to think about.

That’s why, minutes after Will Claye won the silver medal for his finish in the men’s triple jump on Tuesday, he knew what he had to do. American flag still in hand and aided by fans, he leaped 20 feet into the stands, ran to his girlfriend and fellow Olympian, hurdler Queen Harrison, and asked her to marry him.

“I think had it been any other time, she wouldn’t have been surprised. She probably would have saw it coming. I think this was the perfect way to surprise her,” said Claye, 25.

As for Harrison, let’s just say her new fiancé’s plan worked.

“I just thought, like, sometimes after competition, he’ll jump into the stands and hug his family, his Mom, us. We’ll congratulate him and give him a bunch of love,” said Harrison, 27.

But then Claye dropped to his knees.

“I’m like touching his face, like are you okay, and then I’m like, wait a minute. The only thing you’re doing is dropping my jaw! Because, literally, I could not believe he was doing that. I was stunned!” said Harrison.

“There were so many people around, but somehow, it felt like it was just us two,” she said, adding “it was perfect.”

For an ecstatic Claye, who’s now returning from Rio with both a medal and a marriage on his mind, the two things went hand in hand.

“It felt like the perfect thing to do at that moment,” he said.

“During the competition, I looked up in the stands and I kept looking at Queen, like this is about to be the lady that I’m with for the rest of my life,” he added.

For Harrison, it’s “so difficult, because it is like, what do we focus on! I’m so ecstatic!” she said, adding “once we get home, we’ll debrief. And then start planning!”