Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Olympics proposal! US triple jumper proposes to girlfriend moments after winning silver in Rio (photos)

For most athletes competing in the Rio Olympics, winning a medal would be the highlight of their day, if not their life.

Not so for Team USA triple jumper Will Claye, 25, who proposed to girlfriend Queen Harrison immediately after winning silver in Tuesday's final.

Claye became the fifth Olympian to propose during the games after 27-year-old Harrison, herself a hurdler and former Olympian, with a huge diamond ring.

Claye said: 'When I woke up this morning I was like, "Today is going to be the best day of my life.'"
'I'm going to go out there and do what I have to do on the track first and I am going to make her my fiancée after that.'

Claye waited until after he had been presented with his medal, finishing behind fellow American Christian Taylor for the second Olympics in a row, before making his way to the stands.

Claye (pictured climbing down from the stands with the ring box) said: 'When I woke up this morning I was like, "Today is going to be the best day of my life.'"

He climbed over a railing before being helped up a wall and into the seating area where he found Harrison before dropping to one knee on the row of seats in front.

Harrison played it cool for a moment, resting her chin in her hand as she gave a quizzical look, before saying yes as the pair shared an emotional hug.

'I told her she was my best friend. I told her she was my rib. I told her I want to grow old with her,' Claye recounted.
'I want her to be by my side for the rest of my life. She's helped me to grow into the man I am today.'
Taylor, who has been a rival and friend of Claye since they competed at the University of Florida together, said he was left completely in the dark about his fellow athlete's big moment.

He said: 'I turned around and saw him over there and everyone's saying, "Aww." The camera zoomed in and I saw what was going on.'
Taylor jumped 17.86 meters on his first attempt, which was enough to clinch gold, with Claye going 17.76 and China's Dong Bin jumping 17.58 for bronze. 

Not even Claye's family had been informed of his amorous intentions, with only a group of close friends knowing what to expect.

He added: 'They were like, "Man, you're slick". No one knew. It was pretty cool.'
Claye kept the ring - an oval diamond set into two rings of pave diamonds - in his sport bag during the event, keeping a close eye on it.

The diamonds are set in platinum on a diamond eternity band in Deco style.
Claye had the ring designed before Olympic trials earlier this summer, but had no idea when - or even how - he was going to ask her.

After securing his place at the games, he decided on Rio as the proposal venue.
Harrison was in the stands after not qualifying at the Olympic trials. But she wanted to be there for Claye, wearing her 'Will Power' T-shirt.

Shortly after the proposal, the official USA Track and Field Twitter account sent out congratulations to the lucky pair, along with a picture of an open-mouthed Harrison as Claye presented her with the ring.
More photos below...

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