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Silver medalist He Zi’s boyfriend proposes after her medal ceremony

But the moment has sparked debate.


Michelle Jaworski


Posted on Aug 15, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 6:26 am CDT

Chinese diver He Zi won silver in the women’s 3-meter springboard Sunday at the Olympics, and added to the two medals she won in London. But her medal ceremony included an additional dive even she didn’t expect.

Zi stood on the podium with China’s Shi Tingmao and Italy’s Tania Cagnotto, who won gold and bronze, respectively, during the ceremony. But moments after the ceremony ended, her boyfriend Qin Kai, a fellow Chinese diver who won the bronze in the men’s synchronized 3-meter springboard earlier in Rio, came out with a glass case containing a red rose—and a ring. After recovering from shock, He gave the audience a thumb’s up.

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It’s not the first Olympic public proposal: Just last week, Brazilian rugby player Isadora Cerullo received a proposal from her girlfriend Marjorie Enya (a manager at Deodoro Stadium) after Cerullo competed in the first women’s rugby sevens, a match Brazil lost. For many fans, it was a heartwarming moment.

And while some people saw the proposal as as the icing on the cake, others were rubbed the wrong way about Qin’s proposal and felt that he took Zi’s big moment and made it all about himself, as well as the pressures that come with public and viral proposals.

For what it’s worth, Zi, who has dated Qin for six years, is thrilled—although she “didn’t expect that I would marry myself out so early.”

“He said a lot of things there at the podium,” Zi said. “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.”

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*First Published: Aug 15, 2016, 1:24 pm CDT