WHAT IT’S LIKE TO… GO vI­RAL AT THE O Ly m p I c G A m E S

Iz z y Cerullo’s en­gage­ment at the Rio Sev­ens cap­tured imag­i­na­tions

Rugby World - - FRONT ROW -

T ALL hap­pened so fast. At the end of the women’s sev­ens com­pe­ti­tion at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, vol­un­teer man­ager Mar­jorie Enya pub­licly pro­posed to her girl­friend Izzy Cerullo, a player for Brazil.

The in­ter­net was in­stantly set ablaze. Look­ing back on it now, Cerullo ex­plains the pair’s re­ac­tion to their sud­den fame.

“It was a strange, sur­real ex­pe­ri­ence!” the now 27-year-old says. “We weren’t ac­tu­ally ex­pect­ing any of that to go vi­ral. Mar­jorie’s in­ten­tions, when she pro­posed, were for it to be a small thing with her venue staff, be­cause that was

Iher fam­ily in Rio for the year when she worked there for the Olympics. “It was sup­posed to be a con­tained thing but then some­one alerted the press and it got a bit out of hand, if you will. Be­cause it’s a re­ally per­sonal thing, we didn’t re­alise it’d be so (pop­u­lar).

“I knew there were cam­eras around but – it sounds re­ally cheesy now – I was so fo­cused on her, I didn’t see what was hap­pen­ing. The next day I turned my phone on and it al­most ex­ploded be­cause of all the no­ti­fi­ca­tions!”

Widely praised and an in­stant hit on­line, the pitch­side pro­posal be­came one of the high­lights of the Rio Games. Enya said at the time that the pro­posal was a smash be­cause “love wins”.

As qual­i­fi­ca­tion for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics be­gins for the men’s and women’s teams on the world cir­cuit, Cerullo – who has been mar­ried to Enya for just over a year now – re­flects on the legacy of the cou­ple’s vi­ral mo­ment.

“We had a mo­ment of re­al­is­ing the im­pact of what we had done and that it is news­wor­thy be­cause it’s not a nor­mal oc­cur­rence in the mod­ern day. We hope that even­tu­ally it won’t be (so out of the or­di­nary) but while it still is, we’ll keep be­ing po­lit­i­cal about shar­ing our love, be­cause love will al­ways win. Even­tu­ally

The magic mo­ment Just af­ter Cerullo said “yes” to Mar­jorie Enya

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