“I wanted to show people that love wins”: an on-field Olympics marriage proposal delights fans

Put an (olympic) ring on it.
Put an (olympic) ring on it.
Image: Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi
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While Australia celebrated its victory match against New Zealand with an Olympic gold medal, Brazilian sevens player Isadora Cerullo scored a different win on the same field.

During the closing ceremony after the final, 25-year-old Cerullo received a marriage proposal from her girlfriend, Marjorie Enya, who was volunteering at the venue. Enya entered the Deodoro stadium field, microphone in hand, and made an emotional speech. The proposal was an unconventional one: The 28-year old ditched the ring, and instead, tied a yellow ribbon around the player’s finger.

“As soon as I knew she was in the squad I thought I have to make this special,” Enya told the BBC. The cameras, onlookers and applause didn’t faze the duo, who embraced and kissed after Cerullo said yes.

Cerullo holds dual citizenship in Brazil and the United States but spent most of her life in North Carolina. Two years ago, she moved to São Paulo with Enya to train for the 2016 games after the host country’s team qualified. Brazil finished ninth in the inaugural rounds, failing to qualify for the finals.

“The Olympic Games can look like closure but, for me, it’s starting a new life with someone,” Enya. “I wanted to show people that love wins.”

In Brazil, same sex marriage has been legal since 2013. Cerullo is one of at least 45 openly gay athletes in Rio, according to an estimate by Outsports magazine. The mega-sporting event already made LGBT history this year, with British hockey players Kate Richardson-Walsh and Helen Richardson-Walsh becoming the first same-sex married couple ever to compete in the Olympic games.