Olympics: Chinese diver wins silver medal - and diamond ring - in podium proposal from teammate

He Zi receives a marriage proposal from Chinese diver Qin Kai after she won silver in the women's 3m springboard.
He Zi receives a marriage proposal from Chinese diver Qin Kai after she won silver in the women's 3m springboard.PHOTO: EPA

The women's 3m springboard turned out to be a win-win event for Chinese diver He Zi.

He, 25, finished behind compatriot Shi Tingmao to take home the silver, and was on a victory lap around the pool after the podium ceremony at the Maria Lenk Aquatic Centre on Sunday night (Aug 14), when fellow diver Qin Kai came up to her, dropped to one knee, and popped the question.

He held her hand over her face as Qin opened the ring box, before she accepted the ring and a small rose in a glass jar. The teary couple then embraced for the cameras.

"What touched me the most is that he said he was willing to be bullied by me for life," He was quoted by Reuters as saying.

According to media reports, He said she had no idea that the 30-year-old Qin, a bronze medallist in the men's 3m synchronised springboard, was on the verge of asking for her hand after six years of dating.

In fact, she had walked in on him practising his lines in his room that very day, but in a quick save, Qin said that he was singing to himself.

In a press release from the international diving governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA), He said: "I didn't know he would do this proposal. In the podium, he did a lot of promises, but the only thing I know is that this is the guy I trust to be with for the rest of my life."

Gold medallist Shi and Italian bronze medallist Tania Cagnotto took being upstaged at their own medals ceremony with aplomb, since they - unlike the bride-to-be - had been tipped off in advance, FINA said.

He and Qin are the second Olympics couple to have gotten engaged in front of the crowds in Rio.

The aftermath of the women's rugby match between Australia and New Zealand last Monday (Aug 8) saw Brazilian rugby player Isadora Cerullo say yes to a proposal on the pitch at Deodoro Stadium.

Olympics volunteer Marjorie Enya, 28, tied a ribbon around Cerullo's ring finger, before the couple of two years kissed to applause from the other volunteers on the field, who were holding heart-shaped balloons.

Canada's The Globe and Mail reported that 25-year-old Cerullo, a dual citizen and the daughter of exiles who fled for the United States during a military dictatorship in the 1980s, shelved her plans of attending medical school when Brazil begin recruiting athletes to fill team slots in sports for which it had the privilege as host of qualifying.

Cerullo's rugby team may have finished ninth out of 12, but in the arena of love, she came in first.

"The Olympic Games can look like closure but, for me, it's starting a new life with someone," her new fiancee Enya told the BBC.