Rio 2016: A marriage proposal at the Olympics medal ceremony

He Zi (R) of China receives a marriage proposal from Chinese diver Ki Qin (L) after winning the silver medal in the women"s 3m Springboard final of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games Image copyright EPA

There are dramatic marriage proposals - and then there's proposing during the biggest sporting competition in the world.

Chinese diver He Zi had just received a silver medal for the women's three-metre springboard at the Rio Olympics on Sunday.

But she ended up with another prize when her boyfriend Qin Kai, in front of a global TV audience, went down on one knee.

Luckily for Qin, who himself won bronze in the men's three-metre synchronised springboard last week, He Zi said yes.

"We've been dating for six years, but I didn't expect him to propose today," she said. "He said a lot of things, made a lot of promises, but I think the thing that touched me the most is I think this is the guy I can trust for the rest of my life."

But some viewers have suggested that his shock proposal stole the limelight from her other precious metal, her Olympic medal.

An indecent proposal?

Why do some people propose in public?

Watch the moment of the proposal (UK viewers only)

Anatomy of a very public Olympic marriage proposal

Imagine that you are an Olympic diver and are busy getting a silver medal for this....

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption One of the dives that won He Zi her silver medal. Little did she know what was to come....

When you are approached on the podium by your boyfriend of six years and a bevy of cameramen.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The cameramen did not hold back

He positions himself on one knee in front and one enterprising cameraman takes up close position behind you.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Qin Kai gets down on one knee

This is what happened to He Zi, who, when faced with the little red velvet box, is overwhelmed and wipes tears from her eyes.

Image copyright AP
Image caption A closer view, from another angle of the little red velvet box

She covers her face with the hand that is not holding her Olympic medal case, her silver medal glinting.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption He Zi might look shocked, but it didn't stop her saying 'Yes'

It lasts just a few moments but Qin Kai appears unable to bear the anticipation...

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption It might just last a few seconds but his face says it all

A little fist pump gives the audience a clue that he may have got his way after all.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption This is the look of satisfaction when a risk pays off

He stands up and slides the ring onto her engagement finger.

Image copyright Reuters

They embrace and the footage is beamed across the world.

Image copyright AP
Image caption They share an embrace

Fellow medal winners share in the elation.

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Bronze medallist Tania Cagnotto from Italy (L) and gold medallist Shi Tingmao of China looked just as happy at the proposal

But the gesture has divided audiences. On the BBC's Facebook page, some users say that his proposal upstaged the glory of her medal win, while others say it merely added to her medal tally.

It's one of the biggest trends on China's Twitter-like Weibo service with some calling it "sweet and romantic" but others weighing in with more scepticism: "What a way to add pressure to her, having the entire world watch her as she makes such a private and life-changing decision".

Related Topics

More on this story