Why mar­riage pro­pos­als and sport don’t mix

The Guardian - G2 - - News - Martin Be­lam

Sec­tions of the in­ter­net have been aghast at the lat­est ex­am­ple of a pub­lic pro­posal at an in­op­por­tune sport­ing mo­ment – in this case, New Jer­sey fire­fighter Den­nis Galvin, who in­ter­rupted his girl­friend’s first at­tempt to run a marathon by leap­ing over the bar­ri­ers to ask her to marry him as she hit the 16-mile mark.

The pro­posal – cap­tured on video by Galvin’s cousin – was shared on so­cial me­dia to much de­ri­sion. While Kait­lyn Cur­ran said yes, ob­servers ques­tioned whether Galvin had picked the right mo­ment for a ro­man­tic ges­ture. “Wow, my girl­friend is go­ing to ac­com­plish some­thing pretty re­mark­able, some­thing she’s trained for months to achieve … What can I do to make it all about me?” was one on­line com­ment. Oth­ers ques­tioned how easy it would be to get back into the rhythm of a marathon, hav­ing been pro­posed to.

It is far from the first time that a man has stolen the lime­light from his part­ner’s sport­ing achieve­ment. In 2016, at the Rio Olympics, sil­ver­medal-win­ning diver He Zi was pro­posed to by col­league Qin Kai as she stepped down from the podium. Her face-palm in the pic­tures was likely a re­sult of emo­tion, but plenty face-palmed on her be­half at how her mo­ment of glory had been turned into a sideshow to the pro­posal.

Of course, ev­ery re­la­tion­ship is dif­fer­ent. You can­not tell from the out­side whether a pub­lic pro­posal has come as a com­plete sur­prise, or whether the dis­cus­sion of mar­riage has al­ready taken place in pri­vate.

Per­haps the true hero of the pub­lic pro­posal at a sport­ing event is Fran­cisco Gi­l­abert. Gi­l­abert was ref­er­ee­ing the match be­tween Antofa­gasta and Ever­ton de Viña del Mar in Chile last month. Antofa­gasta’s Ed­uard Bello opened the scor­ing for his side within just two min­utes, grabbed a ring from the dugout and jumped into the stands to pro­pose to his girl­friend. Show­ing no room for sen­ti­men­tal­ity, Gi­l­abert duly showed Bello a yel­low card for “ex­ces­sive cel­e­bra­tion”.

I am sure there are plenty who think it re­ally should have been a red.

Qin Kai 2016 Olympics pro­poses to He Zi at the

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